New Delhi: There is a certain unease in the NDA camp in Bihar after Prashant Kishor’s exit. The political strategist, who was expelled from the JD(U) by chief minister Nitish Kumar last month, was asked to assess strategic planning data for the state’s ruling alliance for the coming Assembly polls. The data, it was learnt, also included constituency-wise assessments of “positive and negative” feedback of the sitting MLAs — of both the JD(U) and the BJP — and local issues that could hurt the ruling alliance’s prospects in the Assembly polls that are expected by the end of the year. A section within the JD(U), sources said, feels that with Mr Kishor’s ouster from the party, the data could be “misused” in the Assembly polls. However, a majority within the JD(U) is confident that the Nitish Kumar-led NDA in the state will retain power because of the development plank of the chief minister, who has a “clean image” and a “decisive leadership”. Also, the Opposition camp in the state seems divided over the leadership issue as not everyone in the “grand alliance” of Opposition parties are in favour of the RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav as the face of the alliance. The NDA has said it will fight the polls under Mr Kumar’s leadership.
Mr Kishor, along with former Rajya Sabha member Pavan K. Varma, were expelled from the JD(U) over their stand against the amended citizenship law. Both were once seen as close associates of Mr
Kumar. In fact, Mr Kishor had played a key role in the 2015 Assembly polls in the state, which the JD(U) had fought along with the RJD and Congress, as the JD(U) had quit the NDA fold in 2013 over Narendra Modi’s elevations as the NDA’s PM candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. However, the JD(U) rejoined the NDA in 2017.
“In Bihar, people still compare the JD(U)’s rule with that of the RJD. No matter which caste one belongs to or lives in a city or a rural area, no one wants a repeat of the RJD’s misrule. Nitish Kumar has a clean image, his work is appreciated, no matter which caste or class one belongs to. He is a decisive leader,” said a JD(U) leader.