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Prashant Kishor joins JD (U) in Nitish Kumar’s presence

Prashant Kishor, who worked closely with Narendra Modi before he became Prime Minister, parted ways with the BJP and helmed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's campaign during the 2015 Bihar Assembly elections.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 17, 2018 9:05:32 am
Prashant Kishor has been working as an advisor to Nitish Kumar since 2016. (file photo)

Election strategist Prashant Kishor joined the Janata Dal (United) on Sunday in the presence of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ahead of the party’s state executive meeting in Patna.

“Excited to start my new journey from Bihar!” Kishor tweeted today morning before officially joining the party.

Kishor, who founded the Indian Political Action committee (I-Pac), was tasked with running the JD (U)’s campaign during the 2015 Bihar polls after he parted ways with the BJP. After the success of the Grand Alliance, Nitish rewarded Kishore by naming him as his advisor for planning and programme implementation. He was accorded the status equivalent to a state cabinet minister. The JD (U) later joined hands with the BJP after severing ties with the RJD and Congress and exited the Grand Alliance last year.

Last week, Kishor hinted at his political debut while addressing an event at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad. Stating that he would not campaign for anyone in the 2019 elections, Kishor said he wants to go back to “grassroots” either in Gujarat or Bihar, reported news agency IANS. He, however, did not elaborate further.

“In 2019, you would not see Prashant Kishore campaigning for anyone in the manner and form in which I have been campaigning in last 4-5 years,” he said but wanted to leave his organisation Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC) in “safe hands” before taking the decision.

When asked about working with political parties belonging to different ideologies, Kishor said: “…I personally, for the want of a better phrase, Indianised phrase, I would like to believe that I have an ideology which is closer to what in the West phrased as centre-left. I do believe that the govt has a bigger role. Having an ideology is not the same as being blinded by the ideology…leaders want you to get intoxicated to some degree with the so-called ideology so that you lose the objectivity and you don’t question them, you don’t want them to be accountable…Yes, it is important to have an ideology but it should not blind us to an extent where we lose our ability to question what is right and what is wrong.”

Kishor is currently working for the YSR Congress party in Andhra Pradesh. Before shifting his base to the south, Kishor worked for the Congress party during the Punjab and Uttar Pradesh elections. He said the Congress did not approach them but they wanted to work for it in Punjab to settle scores with Aam Admi Party (AAP) as the latter’s poll strategy in Delhi was termed as better than his team’s efforts in Grand Alliance’s victory in Bihar.

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