Saturday, December 9, 2023

Prashant Kishor set for plunge in Bihar politics

Political strategist Prashant Kishor on Monday caused ripples in Bihar politics, indicating his turn towards active politics in his home state with a cryptic tweet that it is time for him to go to the people to better understand their issues and the path of “Jan Suraj” (people’s good governance).
Kishor, who had been with the JD(U) briefly and was on the verge of joining the Congress recently before things fell through, is likely to address a press conference on May 5 where he will spell out out his next move amid speculation whether he will launch a political party or just an outreach programme, something which he had dabbled in earlier too.
“My quest to be a meaningful participant in democracy & help shape pro-people policy led to a 10-year roller coaster ride! As I turn the page, time to go to the Real Masters, THE PEOPLE, to better understand the issues & the path to Jan Suraj-Peoples Good Governance. Beginning from Bihar,” he tweeted.
The ace poll strategist, who has worked with parties across the ideological spectrum ranging from the BJP to the Congress and numerous regional parties, had announced the decision to stop working as a professional election consultant after his successful association with the Trinamool Congress for the West Bengal assembly polls in 2021.
Always seen to be having an interest in active politics, he had joined Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) in 2018 but was expelled in 2020 due to sharp differences with Kumar over their conflicting views on a host of issues like the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as he took strong anti-BJP stand and slammed Kumar.
Following his ouster, Kishor launched an independent project “Baat Bihar Ki” (Conversation About Bihar) in February 2020, which remained a nonstarter though as he turned to his work as election strategist. He was also on the verge of joining the Congress recently but both sides could not reach a final agreement over his proposal to overhaul the main opposition party.
The BJP mocked Kishor over his latest announcement, calling him a power broker who can be nothing more than a spoiler in electoral politics.
“Prashant Kishor is neither a social scientist nor a political scientist. He is a power broker and a middleman. He can be nothing more than a vote katwa (spoiler) in Bihar politics,” said state BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand.
JD(U) spokesperson K C Tyagi was more circumspect and said everyone is free to start a political outfit but added that the agenda of “good governance” belongs to the NDA government headed by Kumar who has built roads, schools and hospitals and taken the state on the path to development after the RJD’s “misrule”.
“Anyone is free to launch a political party, and we convey our wishes to them. But there is no alternative to Kumar currently,” he said.
Though Kishor has said that he will no longer work as a political consultant, his organisation I-PAC will continue to be engaged in the work. His relations with Kumar also appears to have thawed as he had met the chief minister during his recent visit to the national capital.



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