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Thursday, April 09, 2020

Prashant Kishor meets Kushwaha, Manjhi, Bihar Congress chief; fuels speculation of a front minus RJD

The leader said though the initial idea was to forge a front having all non-NDA parties, there could be new formulations if RJD continued its recalcitrant position, particularly its aversion to taking help from Kishor and also insistence on projecting Tejashwi as the CM face of the Grand Alliance.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna | Updated: February 21, 2020 2:02:16 pm
Prashant Kishor, Prashant Kishor Bigar politics, Prashant Kishor upendra khushwaha, Prashant Kishor bihar elections, bihar elections, nitish kumar Prashant Kishor at a press conference in Patna. (Express photo by Ashok Sinha)

In an important political development that could impact Opposition politics in Bihar, poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who formally launched his initiative, ‘Baat Bihar Ki’ on Thursday, met Bihar Congress chief Madan Mohan Jha, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief Upendra Kushwaha, Hindustani Awam Morcha Secular (HAMS) founder and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and Vikasshil Insaan Party leader Mukesh Sahni in Delhi on Thursday. Since there was no RJD leader present in the meeting, the bid is taken as either as a part of pressure politics on RJD or an attempt to forge an alliance minus RJD.

Top RLSP and HAM (S) leaders told The Indian Express that whether Prashant Kishor would directly get involved with them or not, there had been surely an attempt to take the help of the poll strategist Kishor, who knows “inns and outs of JD (U) strategy”. An RLSP leader said: “Our leader Upendra Kushwaha has been warm to Kishor and has tweeted his feelings in support of Kishor’s line of attack on Nitish Kumar. We want a strong formulation and expect Congress to take the lead”.

Read | Opposition parties in Bihar back Prashant Kishor’s initiative

The leader said though the initial idea was to forge a front having all non-NDA parties, there could be new formulations if RJD continued its recalcitrant position, particularly its aversion to taking help from Kishor and also insistence on projecting Tejashwi as the CM face of the Grand Alliance.

A HAM (S) source added that it was Jitan Ram Manjhi’s second meeting with Prashant Kishor. “Any person or idea that can help defeat NDA is welcome,” said the source close to Jitan Ram Manjhi.

RLSP, HAM (S) and VIP that had floated leadership of senior parliamentarian Sharad Yadav for leading 2020 Assembly poll campaign, had to face tough tough resistance from RJD. Sharad Yadav has now clarified that he was not in the race of state CM and it is Tejashwi alone who should lead the alliance.

RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Twari said: “We have made it clear that we do not need event managers to win elections. Let others play pressure tactics. We are clear that the Opposition politics has to move around Tejashwi’s leadership”.

Kishor had said that he would not back any political party. But his meetings with Grand Alliance constituents are hint to his Bihar plan. Kishor aims at registering one crore youths in coming 100 days. The outcome of 27 February Kanhaiya Kumar rally could help crystalize Opposition politics. Kanhaiya is likely to unveil his Bihar plans after the rally even though he has said no to contesting Assembly elections.

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