Prashant Kishor says political party not part of immediate plans, Bihar padyatra announces

Putting on hold speculation that he was forming a new political party, political strategist Prashant Kishor announced a 3,000 km padyatra from October 2. He said he would continue his political activism and stressed that a political party was not among his immediate plans.

Kishor had caused ripples in Bihar politics indicating his shift towards active politics in his home state with a cryptic tweet that it is time for him to reach out to the people to better understand their issues and the path to jan suraj (good popular governance).

Kishor had been briefly with JD(U) and was about to join Congress recently.

“My quest to be a meaningful participant in democracy and help shape pro-people politics has been on a 10-year roller coaster ride! As I turn the page, it’s time to go see the true masters, THE PEOPLE, to better understand the issues and the path to good governance of Jan Suraj-Peoples.Starting with Bihar,” he tweeted.

The polling strategist, who has worked with parties across the ideological spectrum from the BJP to Congress and many regional parties, had announced the decision to quit working as a professional election consultant after his successful association with Congress of Trinamool for West Bengal. Assembly polls in 2021.

Still seen as having an interest in active politics, he had joined Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) in 2018 but was expelled in 2020 due to strong differences with Kumar over their conflicting views on a host of issues like Citizenship (Amendment) Act as he took a strong anti-BJP stance and criticized Kumar.

After his ousting, Kishor launched an independent project Baat Bihar Ki (Conversation on Bihar) in February 2020, which remained a failure as he turned to his work as an election strategist. He was also set to join Congress recently, but the two sides could not reach a final agreement on his proposal to overhaul the main opposition party.

The BJP mocked Kishor in its latest announcement, calling him a power broker who can be nothing more than a spoiler in electoral politics. “Prashant Kishor is neither a social scientist nor a political scientist. He is a power broker and middleman. He can be nothing more than a katwa vote [spoiler] in Bihar politics,” BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand said.

JD(U)KC Spokesman Tyagi was more circumspect and said everyone is free to form a political organization, but added that the ‘good governance’ agenda belongs to the Kumar-led NDA government which built roads, schools and hospitals and took the state on the path to development after the RJD’s “mismanagement”. “Anyone is free to start a political party, and we convey our wishes to them. But there is no alternative to Kumar at present,” he said.

-Inputs from agencies

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