File photo of Nitish Kumar. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
The two have been vocal about their opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections scheduled this year, chief minister Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) expelled the poll strategist Prashant Kishor and diplomat-turned politician Pavan Varma, citing 'anti-party activities'.
Kishor was the Vice-President of the party and Varma was the General-Secretary of JD(U). The two had been quite vocal about their opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Nitish Kumar was apparently miffed with both Kishor and Varma because of their open criticism of the party for supporting CAA.
The JD(U) had voted for the Citizenship Amendment Act in both houses of Parliament. Pavan Varma even wrote an open letter to the chief minister over the party's alliance with the BJP outside Bihar, and sought clarity over the party's stand on CAA and NRC.
Varma was also extremely critical of the BJP in his open letter.
Kishor and Varma were considered to be the close aides of Nitish Kumar. However, after Varma tweeted the letter publicly, Kumar broke his silence for the first time, giving Varma an option to leave JD(U) and join any other party of his choice.
Nitish Kumar even said that Prashant Kishor was inducted into the party at the recommendation of the then BJP chief Amit Shah. After this, Kishor had hit out at Nitish Kumar in an angry tweet, accusing him of lying.
Amit Shah had announced that the BJP would be fighting the Bihar Assembly Elections under the leadership of Nitish Kumar.
According to the party sources, Prashant Kishor was not happy with the seat-sharing ratio that JD(U) and the BJP had agreed upon. He had asked JD(U) to contest the higher number of seats than the BJP in Bihar Assembly Elections.
Furthermore, Kishor and Varma were also upset with JD(U) for tying-up with the BJP for the upcoming Delhi Assembly Elections. BJP will be fighting the Delhi polls with its NDA partners - JD(U) and LJP.
They both had been claiming that JD(U)'s support to CAA was an act to maintain the balance with the BJP.
The differences were already growing within the party over Nitish giving preference to the 'outsiders' - Prashant Kishor and Pavan Varma. But alas, no one knew - things will turn this bitter and lead to the JD(U) chief expelling his own handpicked aides.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)