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Sacked from JD(U), Prashant Kishor has a plan to make a comeback into Bihar politics ahead of elections

FE Online
Prashant Kishor

Come February 18 and ace poll strategist and former Janata Dal (United) vice-president Prashant Kishor could roll out his future plans following his unceremonious exit from Bihar’s ruling party. Kishor, who was brought into the JD(U) fold by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in September 2018, was expelled from the party on January 29 for taking a line on the Citizenship Amendment Act that was contrary to the official stand of the JD(U). Kishor, it is learnt, is likely to float a new forum, The Indian Express reported. The new political or apolitical forum will focus on the bigger participation of youth in politics. Kishor, who runs the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), is expected to make a formal announcement on February 18 when he travels to Patna, the report added.

Kishor rose to fame after he handled the election campaign for Narendra Modi during the Gujarat Assembly elections in 2012 and the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. He then worked for the Janata Dal (United) in the 2015 Assembly polls when Nitish Kumar’s party contested elections in an alliance with the rival parties RJD and Congress. Nitish Kumar rewarded him with Cabinet minister rank after the alliance pulled out a stunning victory.

Kishor joined the JD(U) in 2018 and was appointed as the vice-president of the party. He was expelled from the party last month after he made comments critical of BJP leader and Home minister Amit Shah over CAA, NPR and the NRC. Although Kishor personally clarified the party’s stand with Nitish Kumar, he continued his barb on Shah.

Kishor’s exit from the JD(U) in an election year sparked speculation of his alliance with Opposition parties. After his expulsion from the JD(U), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) made an open offer to Kishor. The IE report said while Lalu Prasad Yadav was keen to take Kishor’s services, his son Tejashwi turned down the idea.

When Kishor was asked about the RJD’s offer, he categorically rejected the RJD’s invitation to join the party and termed it mere speculation. Congress sources, however, told The Indian Express that Kishor may work for the party in the October-November Assembly elections in the state. Kishor had recently come out all praise for the Congress and party leader Rahul Gandhi for taking a firm stand against the CAA.

Elections to the Bihar Assembly are due in October or November this year.