Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s statement that he had inducted Prashant Kishor in the JD(U) after BJP national president Amit Shah called him twice asking that Kishor be given a party post, sends a clear message to Kishor to “not exceed his brief”, and to concentrate on his designated assignment of “adding youth in the party”, senior JD(U) leaders said.
Asked whether Kishor was his successor in the JD(U), Nitish said in Patna Tuesday: “Prashant Kishor had already worked with us (for the 2015 Assembly elections before he was inducted into the party). I have affection for him. BJP national president Amit Shah had called me twice (asking that Kishor be given a position)… (But) It is up to the people of the state to decide my successor.”
The Chief Minister added that there should not be any confusion regarding his relationship with the BJP, which was sound and transparent. Political strategist Kishor, who is credited with having formulated several of the signature elements of Narendra Modi’s innovative election campaign in 2014, joined the JD(U) in September 2018 and was made its national vice president a month later.
A JD(U) leader said Nitish was seeking to simultaneously send multiple signals to both Kishor and his other party colleagues. “First, it is a clear message to Kishor that he must have no illusions about being number two in the party, and not do anything that might displease the seniors. Second, it has been underlined to Kishor that he was obliged on the request of Amit Shah, who had got him accommodated with the BJP’s Bihar ally.
Third, the CM has signalled to his older colleagues that they must not be overawed or intimidated by Kishor’s presence, or by any statements that he might make. Finally, the CM has sought to allay any apprehensions that his base of OBCs, EBCs, and Dalits might have about Kishor, a Brahmin, becoming the leader of the party in the future,” the JD(U) leader said.