POLL STRATEGIST and former JD(U) leader Prashant Kishor is likely to float a political or apolitical forum with focus on inviting bigger participation of youth in politics. He is expected to make an announcement during his visit to Patna on February 18.
While he has categorically ruled out collaborating with Tejashwi Yadav-led opposition alliance, Congress sources have confirmed that Kishor may play a key role for the party during the 2020 Assembly elections.
Kishor was expelled from the ruling JD(U) last month for targeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah and criticising JD(U)’s ambivalence of NPR and NRC. Even after he tried to sort out differences with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over NPR and NRC, his continued attack of Shah made the JD(U) expel him along with another dissenting leader, Pavan Kumar Varma.
Although Kishor did not divulge his Bihar plans, he said he would speak on February 18. Asked if he would collaborate with Tejashwi-led Grand Alliance, he called it “mere speculation” though a text message. Sources, however, said he had a definite Bihar plan that could involve supporting Congress and other willing allies in making a strategy for the 2020 polls. A Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) leader said: “One of our senior leaders has been in touch with him.”
A senior Congress leader said: “Prashant Kishor shares a good rapport with our leader Rahul Gandhi. Some plans are surely there… State politics has been in a fluid state and a lot of churning is going on. But Kishor looks to fit in our scheme of things.”
Kishor had praised the Congress for its stand on CAA and NRC. On January 12, he tweeted: “I join my voice with all to thank #Congress leadership for their formal and unequivocal rejection of #CAA_NRC. Both @rahulgandhi & @priyankagandhi deserves special thanks for their efforts on this count…”
CPI state secretary Satyanarayan Singh said his party is not in touch with Kishor, preferring to pin hopes on Kanhaiya Kumar. “The kind of crowd he has been getting is a very good sign for Kanhaiya. On Sunday, he got a very good crowd in Nitish Kumar’s home turf of Biharsharif. Kanhaiya has been making all political parties take notice of him.”
RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tewary said his party would not need “event managers” to win elections. Sources said while Lalu Prasad was initially willing to seek Kishor’s help, Tejashwi turned down the idea. Tejashwi and Kishor had also engaged in war of words on Twitter about two months ago when Kishor questioned his leadership credentials.