Prashant Kishor targets Nitish, JD(U) hits back

With Assembly elections slated to be held in Bihar in November, political parties have started making strategies to woo voters.

Update: 2020-02-18 20:33 GMT
Prashant Kishor (Photo: PTI)

Patna: Election strategist-turned-politician Prashant Kishor on Tuesday questioned the Nitish Kumar government’s development model, even as he sneered at the chief minister for making ideological compromises to stay in an alliance with the BJP.

Mr Kishor, who has been vocal about his opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and was expelled from the JD(U) in January, said Nitish Kumar needs to spell out whether he is with the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi or those who support Nathu Ram Godse.

Mr Kishor’s remarks evoked angry reaction from the JD(U), which advised the poll strategist to devote his time to his “business” instead of dabbling in politics.

“He should keep batting for the Aam Aadmi Party. It’s better for him to devote his time to furthering his ‘vyavsaya’ (business). Politics is not his cup of tea,” party spokesperson K.C. Tyagi said.

When pointed out that Mr Kishor had worked for several parties and leaders in the past, Mr Tyagi called it “unethical”. With  Assembly elections slated to be held in Bihar in November, political parties have started making strategies to woo voters.

Mr Kishor who, reached Patna on Tuesday, announced that he would launch “Bihar Ki Baat” program from February 20 to mobilise thousands of young voters who have been concerned about the progress of the state.

“There is no one to question Nitish Kumar’s good governance model. Bihar was in a poor state in 2005 and continues to remain like that even after Nitish Kumar became the chief minister. People want to know what he has done for the development of Bihar and what he would do in the next 10 years to place Bihar in Top 10 developed states of the country,” Mr Kishor said.

This was his first offensive directly against his former mentor and Bihar CM after being expelled from the JD(U).

Political analysts say that Mr Kishor’s youth mobilisation program may create hurdles for the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government.

On Tuesday, while talking to reporters in Patna, Mr Kishor said that his differences with Nitish Kumar widened because he did not take a clear stand between the ideology of Gandhi and Godse.

“I firmly believe that Gandhi and Godse cannot go together. One has to take a clear stand on the issue. Nitish Kumar keeps saying that the party can never leave the ideals of Gandhi but is now standing with those who are soft on Nathuram Godse,” he said.    

On his expulsion, he said, “I cannot question his decision to expel me from the party. He treated me like a son and I respect him for that. But I also would like to say that my only agenda has been to work for the development of Bihar”.

Mr Kishor’s stint as a campaign planner began with the BJP during 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In 2015 he started working for Nitish Kumar who had aligned with the RJD and the Congress in a bid to return as chief minister for the third time in Bihar.

Political analysts claim that it was Mr Kishor who had scripted Nitish Kumar’s return as chief minister in 2015 despite a massive Modi wave in the country. He also recently worked for Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi and Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal.


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