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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

After saying no to Congress, Prashant Kishor hints at forming new party: ‘Turning the page, going to people’

The poll strategist has started meeting members of the civil society and launched Jan Suraj, a campaign to seek feedback on good governance.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna |
Updated: May 3, 2022 8:43:35 am
Kishor, who joined the JD(U) in September 2018 and went on to become its first and only national vice president, later had a fall out with Nitish Kumar and senior party leader RCP Singh. (Express Archive)

After turning down the Congress’ offer to join the party, Prashant Kishor has dropped hints of setting up his own political party. In what is being seen as a step in that direction, poll strategist Kishor has started meeting members of the civil society and launched Jan Suraj, a campaign to seek feedback on good governance.

“My quest to be a meaningful participant in democracy & help shape pro-people policy led to a 10yr rollercoaster ride! As I turn the page, time to go to the Real Masters, THE PEOPLE, to better understand the issues & the path to “Jan Suraj”-Peoples Good Governance,” Kishor said in a tweet on Monday, with the tagline ‘Shuruaat Bihar se (starting from Bihar)’.

A source close to Kishor said, “We have prepared a list of some 80-100 leading personalities from civil society, including doctors, teachers, social activists… He will meet all of them one-on-one over the next three days.” Among the names Kishor is likely to meet include leading RTI activist Shiv Prakash Rai, social activist Mukesh Hisaria, Motihari doctor Parvez Aziz and social entrepreneur Irfan Alam.

The idea, said the source, is to “reach out to people who have worked in Bihar and can suggest what Bihar needs”. Kishor has also been meeting politicians, another source said, refusing to disclose their identities.

The JD (U), the party which Kishor briefly joined, however, played down his initiative, saying “only the Nitish Kumar model” will work in Bihar. The BJP called Kishor “nothing more than a poll strategist”.

JD(U) national spokesperson K C Tyagi told The Indian Express, “That Nitish has been CM since 2005 is proof enough of his good governance model. Even Prashant Kishor endorsed this during the 2015 Assembly elections with his theme of ‘Bihar mein bahaar hai, Nitish Kumar hai (there is well being in Bihar because if Nitish Kumar’.”

Kishor, who joined the JD(U) in September 2018 and went on to become its first and only national vice president, later had a fall out with Nitish Kumar and senior party leader RCP Singh. Kishore quit the JD(U) in January 2020.

The same year, he launched “Baat Bihar ki”, a campaign that did not go beyond the first few meetings.

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BJP national spokesperson Guru Prakash Paswan said, “This is not the first time Prashant Kishor has tried his hand at politics. He has done it before. As a political activist, he is done and dusted. He has only proved himself as a backroom manager. Political parties engage him on a professional basis. Though we wish him good luck, his move could be inconsequential.”

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