Published By: Kavya Mishra
Last Updated: May 30, 2023, 00:02 IST
JD(U)’s chief spokesperson Neeraj Kumar on Monday charged Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh with having “sold his conscience” by taking part in the inauguration of the new Parliament building, a programme that their party had boycotted.
Bihar BJP president Samrat Choudhary hit back, accusing Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s party of violating “democratic norms” by attacking “a person holding a constitutional post”.
In a strongly worded statement, the JD(U) spokesperson criticised Harivansh, a journalist turned politician, for attending the function “where even your Chairman, the Honourable Vice President, was not present”.
“The party had sent you to the Rajya Sabha in recognition of your contributions to journalism. But when a dark chapter in the history of parliamentary democracy in the country happened, you traded intellectual integrity for your high office. You sold your conscience,” Neeraj Kumar said.
The CM, also the party’s supremo, had defended the boycott of the function which he described as “an attempt to change history by those who had made no contribution to the freedom struggle”.
More than 20 parties opposed to the BJP had boycotted Sunday’s function, insisting that President Droupadi Murmu, and not Prime Minister Narendra Modi, should have inaugurated the new building.
The JD(U) spokesperson added, “It is for the top leadership to decide what action to take in view of your participation despite the party having decided to boycott.” Serving his second consecutive tenure in the Rajya Sabha, which will end next year, Harivansh has been the Deputy Chairman since 2018, when he became only the third non-Congress MP to occupy the post.
The 66-year-old had served as a media advisor to the then Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar before serving as editor of Prabhat Khabar, one of the leading Hindi newspapers of Jharkhand and Bihar.
Meanwhile, state BJP president Samrat Choudhary reacted to the JD(U) spokesperson’s outbursts, saying, “It is none other than Nitish Kumar who can be held guilty of having sold his conscience, as is evident from his many a political volte-face.” The JD(U) had pulled out of the BJP-led NDA last year and joined the ‘Mahagathbandhan’, which includes RJD, Congress and the Left.
Chaudhary added that while the BJP saw JD(U)’s problem with Harivansh as “an internal matter” of that party, “aspersions cast on one who holds a constitutional post are an insult to democratic norms.”
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)