“It’s all marketing for his business” is how Bihar Minister Nitish Kumar’s JDU saw poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s statement that he had offered to rejoin the party. “We know he’s been working for the BJP for a while,” JDU country director Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan said today, speaking just days after a meeting between Nitish Kumar and Prashant Kishor.
Mr. Singh stated: “He is giving stories in the media. All this is part of a plot that the BJP wants to use to gain a foothold in Bihar, as it cannot gain support. for the public,” Singh said.
Since Nitish Kumar quit the BJP last month and started a nationwide campaign of opposition solidarity, the buzz in Patna and Delhi is that the ‘PK’, expelled in 2020, is likely to return with JDU in some capacity.
“It was Prashant Kishor who wanted to meet Nitish ji after a new political situation emerged in Bihar,” the JDU president said today. “Nitish ji told him to talk to the party chairman first. So he came to see me in New Delhi.”
Mr Singh claimed Prashant Kishor used a series of subsequent engagements “just to market himself”. “I told him he could return to the party if he remained disciplined. Nitish ji then gave him an appointment. But, as part of his marketing strategy, he told the media that he will not be meeting the minister.”
“And then a few days later, Pavan Varma (former head of JDU) met Nitish Kumar and told him that Prashant Kishor wanted to meet. Why did the prime minister say no to anyone who wanted to see him? So they did meet,” Mr Singh added. But why would someone make him any offers? Who is he? “
Nitish Kumar said after the meeting, “We weren’t talking about anything special. Just ordinary things.”
Mr. Kishor later claimed to have turned down the offer from Mr. Kumar due to a policy disagreement. He repeated his assertion that if the new government of Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav provides 5-10 lakh jobs in the next year or two, he will withdraw ‘Jan Suraj Abhiyan’ and support them.
Prashant Kishor’s biggest claim to fame was his work for Narendra Modi’s 2014 campaign, but he switched sides shortly after to work with Nitish Kumar in 2015, supporting Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) with the RJD and Congress to defeat the BJP in Bihar.
He entered politics full time when Nitish Kumar took him, first as an adviser to the cabinet minister level, and then as JDU national vice president in 2018. But after Nitish Kumar returned to the NDA led by the BJP, in 2020 Prashant Kishor was expelled from the JDU for speaking out against the party. Mr. Kishor briefly returned to the strategic exploration business – working with Mamata Banerjee against the BJP in Bengal – before announcing his return to politics, starting with his home state of Bihar, in last year.
“Prashant Kishor is not a politician. He has a business,” the JDU leader emphasized in an exchange with the media today. Regarding Mr. Kishor’s ‘Jan Suraj’ tour through Bihar scheduled to start next month, Mr. Singh said, “He is welcome to do that. That’s why he is doing all the work. this marketing.”
“But all of this is part of a larger plot by the BJP. It had an agent in JDU before, who we threw out. Now it’s looking for someone else like that,” he said. , referring to RCP Singh, the former JDU director who left the party. just before JDU-BJP disbanded, following a series of derisions by Nitish Kumar.