Friday, December 9, 2022
HomePolitics‘BJP manifesto can’t become India’s Constitution’ — JD(U)’s Pavan Varma lashes out...

‘BJP manifesto can’t become India’s Constitution’ — JD(U)’s Pavan Varma lashes out at ally

Janata Dal (United) leader Pavan Varma says his position in the party, which voted for new citizenship law, is untenable.

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New Delhi: Janata Dal (United) leader Pavan Varma has called the Citizenship (Amendment) Act “unconstitutional” and “discriminatory” and said his position in the party, which voted for the bill in Parliament, was “untenable”.

“Unless Nitish Kumar comes out and says he condemns the Citizenship Amendment Act and refuses to implement it, I can’t change my mind,” Varma told ThePrint when asked if he is likely to resign.

Varma also came own heavily on ally BJP, saying that although people had voted for it, they do have a right to question the party.

“The party manifesto cannot become the constitution of the country, irrespective of consequences. I may vote for you but I retain the right to question some of your decisions.”

Varma, a former Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson of the JD(U), had openly criticised his party’s stand over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and written a social media post asking Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to reconsider his stance.

The JD(U), an NDA ally, had supported the contentious new citizenship law in both Houses of Parliament, which proposes citizenship to non-Muslim illegal immigrants.

The move had evoked sharp criticism from Varma as well as party vice-president Prashant Kishor, who had also taken to social media to express his displeasure over it.

Kishor had a meeting with Nitish Kumar on 14 December following which he told the media the CM had assured him that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise will not be implemented in Bihar. However, Nitish Kumar has officially not said anything on the matter so far.

“Both Prashant Kishore and I have strong opinions, views on the Citizenship Amendment Act, and when it was still a bill, I spoke to Mr Nitish Kumar that this bill is unconstitutional, it is undemocratic, it is discriminatory, it’s against the social harmony and peace in the country and, above all, it is against our own party’s constitution. Therefore, it would be wrong for the party to support this bill,” Varma told ThePrint.

Also read: 1200 anti-Citizenship Act protesters detained in Delhi, protests turn violent in Mangaluru

‘Can’t accept party volte-face’

He said Nitish Kumar was also opposed to the bill, until a few months back.

“He had told us why he opposes the bill, especially keeping in mind the sentiments of the Northeast. This complete volte-face on the part of the party was something that my conscience, my zameervivek could not accept,” Varma added.

“And I first spoke to Mr Nitish Kumar personally to try and convince him, and when that failed, I made a public tweet appealing to him to reconsider the party’s stand to support the bill in Parliament. The party went ahead and supported it. This is something that does not have my support.”

Varma also said that if he is required to resign from the party over this, he will.

“I continue as a conscientious objector to both the CAA and the NRC. They are two faces of the same coin, they are conjoined at the hip. They must be seen hyphenated,” he said.

“The CAA and NRC together are a recipe for endemic turmoil, instability, turbulence, discord and acrimony in society, apart from being communal and discriminatory. Therefore, I will continue to oppose it. If I am required to resign from my party I will.”

‘Focus on economy’

The former Rajya Sabha MP said the Modi government needs to focus on the right priorities, especially the economy.

“The bill is being opposed across the country. This attempt to portray it as somehow representing only one community is wrong, the reason for it is very simple. Hindus believe that such measures are not in their interest. They, like all Indians, don’t like endemic and perennial instability of discord in society, of a breakdown of social harmony.  We are in an economic tailspin, the government needs to focus on the right priorities.”

Accusing some in the BJP of using this opportunity to create a communal divide for “electoral dividends”, Varma said, something like this has happened in the past but will not be successful this time.

Also read: Samajwadi Party and Congress MLAs defy Section 144 in UP, hold protests against CAA


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  1. Manifesto of a political party do not become the Constitution of the country. Certainly, Manifestos become the agenda for the country, if the party comes to power. As a politician, Pawan Verma should understand that. As an ally in NDA his party should have tried to tone down BJP’s manifest when the opportunity was available.

  2. Indian Constitution was created by a select group which was not even elected for this purpose by people of India. They created the constitution and then Congress imposed it on all Indians. Indian constitution doesn’t represent the views of Indian masses. Even Congress has changed it many times. Similarly the Congress Idea of India is not the Idea of India of Indian masses. PV is a hypocrite like any other sickular who think that they are always right even indulging in violence is right for these hypocrites. First PV get elected by putting his views to people.

  3. The BJP election manifesto cannot become part of the constitution. People might have read it. But voting to that party does not mean they have accepted the complete manifesto. Modi govt should understand this truth.

  4. Their secularism is shallow. It is not true and balanced secularism. With their kind of secularism, they are keeping their vote bank within their fold. Did they ever raised an issue when 4 lac Kashmiri Hindus were thrown out from the valley? When militancy was growing under their beloved Dr Farooq Abdullah premiership from 1987 to 1989 resulting into mass migration of microscopic non Muslim minority from the valley.? Pawan Varma very eloquent speaker and versatile politician had nor spoken or written vehemently over the statelessness of Kashmiri Hindus, because it does not touch his vote politics? It is more opportunistic politics of their party, not a really pluralistic politics which they urge for. How much hue and cry our politicians are making over CAA when it does not hurt any section of Indian society. On the contrary, they are inviting other elements also who are not suffering or are not persecuted as religious minorities. Why should we allow floodgates for immigration open to all without reason and rhyme? Our population is jobless and where from we can feed them>. Does these class of politician want recurring law and order problems to enhance in the country by permitting unscrupulous people to get into India? Or they want to capitalise their vote strength by supporting all people to come from neighbouring countries to settle in JJ colonies. Our leaders should shun such cheap politics and think of Indian people first. then look beyond.

    • “Did they ever raised an issue when 4 lac Kashmiri Hindus were thrown out from the valley?” – The Kashmiri Hindus were chased away by the handful militants. No government, congress or BJP in the centre bothered to resettle them. The BJP was in coalition with the PDP in the last J&K government, but it also didn’t do a thing to resettle the Kashmiri Hindus. Ask the current Modi government what plans it has to resettle them. None! Nor there are very many of them willing to go back to J&K.

  5. CAB / CAA may not amount to much in practical terms, nor will it set the EVMs on fire. Ideally, it should be struck down by the apex court. 2. However, a pan Indian NRC will cause havoc. Not because it will unearth millions of illegal immigrants but because of the incredible pain and inconvenience it will cause to all bona fide citizens, apart from immobilising the government machinery from doing all other duties. Very wisely, both Nitishbabu and Naveenbabu have distanced themselves from it. 3. Shri Pavan Varma, erudite, articulate, is the right man in the wrong company.

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