The BJP on Tuesday accused JD(U) national vice-president and Nitish Kumar’s close aide Prashant Kishor of “openly taking part” in Patna University Students’ Union (PUSU) polls and asked the Bihar Chief Minister to “rein in Kishor”.
Kishor, who was inducted into the JD(U) recently and tasked with rejuvenating youth participation in the party, is backing the party’s youth wing candidate Mohit Prakash for president’s post in the university elections against ABVP’s Abhinav Kumar and AISF’s Bhagya Bharati.
On Monday, the poll strategist reportedly met Patna University vice-chancellor Rash Bihari Prasad Singh, following which a group of students, allegedly belonging to the ABVP, staged a demonstration on the campus and damaged Kishor’s car.
Accusing Kishor of trying to influence the students’ union polls, BJP spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan said the Chief Minister “should rein in Kishor”.
“How can Prashant Kishor meet Patna University V-C two days before polls? Earlier, he is said to have met some teachers as well. It is illegal to influence students’ union polls which are not fought on party lines… Bihar CM Nitish Kumar should rein in Kishor… Kishor should be told to act and behave like second man of the party,” he told The Indian Express.
The BJP spokesperson said that invoking the youth to join politics was one thing, but “interfering with the process of students’ union poll… amounts to violation of the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations”.
Meanwhile, BJP legislators Nitin Navin, Sanjeev Chourasia and Arun Sinha on Tuesday sat on dharna outside Oirbahore police station after seven ABVP activists were arrested for damaging Kishor’s car. “It looks like police have been acting at the behest of the government to harass ABVP workers. Seven of them were arrested last night for a bailable offence of throwing stone at Kishor’s car. Six of them were released after our last dharna outside Pirbahore police station, but one activist has not been released. We are seeking his release as there is little merit in the case,” Sinha said.
Kishor, too, lashed out at the ABVP for allegedly attacking his car. He tweeted, “…@ABVPVoice u need to do better than let few hooligans & antisocial elements become your face in Bihar.” He said apprehensions of losing in the PUSU polls “would not lessen with throwing stone at his car”.
Explained: Kishor on ‘overdrive’, some JD(U) leaders frown
Prashant Kishor looks to be in a hurry to prove his utility for the party. A senior JD(U) leader called it Kishor’s “overdrive”, adding that some party leaders were unhappy with his “attitude”. Kishor’s dealing with PUSU polls has not gone down well with several JD(U) seniors, who say it could only strain the party’s relationship with the BJP for no big political stake.
Reacting to the face-off between the NDA partners, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Tejashwi Yadav said: “The unprecedented manner in which Nitish Kumar is unabashedly muddying his hands in university politics… shows his dictatorial mindset, insecurity and desperation.”