Bihar’s BJP legislature party leader and former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday dared CM Nitish Kumar to tell the “full truth” behind the party’s publicity campaign led by Prashant Kishor, the key architect behind Narendra Modi’s Chai pe Charcha campaign who is now trying to help Nitish retain his CM seat.
Alleging that the campaign had “mixed JD (U) and government publicity in a bid to promote Nitish Kumar”, Modi alleged that he had received complaints from some district magistrates that Kishore called them and tried to influence them.
Reacting to the allegations, the JD(U) said the state government had not received any formal complaint from any district magistrate.
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Speaking to The Indian Express, Sushil Kumar Modi said: “We have learnt that the state government has given the contract for video rath under Jan Bhagari programme to a Noida-based communication and publicity company that came up only in 2015. I suspect that this company has been outsourced by Prashant Kishor’s NGO. I also want to know from the CM why the public relations department budget under its plan head went up to Rs 90 crore in the current financial year, almost 15 times more than the previous year’s budget”.
He added: “Prashant Kishor has been calling district magistrates and acting like the chief secretary”. He said Kishor was working as an “extra-constitutional authority and a CEO of the government’s PR department in influencing the publicity campaign to suit JD (U)”.
Reacting to Modi’s claims, JD (U) spokesperson K C Tyagi said: “He has a habit of making a mountain out of molehill. The government cannot act against Prashant Kishor just on the basis of Modi’s allegations”. He also sought to know the “truth of five crore saris being ordered in Gujarat for Bihar polls.” “We are going by the rule book,” he said.