With less than two weeks to go for the first phase of polling in Bihar, frictions within the ruling Janta Dal (United) have come to fore with party's second-in-command, Prashant Kishor, announcing that he will not be in-charge of campaigning. While some believe the decision is a result of "internal rift", party insiders say that it was nothing more than "clearing the air" as he was being seen as a substitute to senior leader and Rajya Sabha member RCP Singh.
बिहार में NDA माननीय मोदी जी एवं नीतीश जी के नेतृत्व में मजबूती से चुनाव लड़ रहा है।JDU की ओर से चुनाव-प्रचार एवं प्रबंधन की जिम्मेदारी पार्टी के वरीय एवं अनुभवी नेता श्री RCP सिंह जी के मजबूत कंधों पर है।मेरे राजनीति के इस शुरुआती दौर में मेरी भूमिका सीखने और सहयोग की है।— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) March 29, 2019
His move to publicly state that his role presently in JD (U) is about learning the nuances of politics as a beginner has sprung surprise for many.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, Kishor’s proximity to JD (U) president and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar was being viewed as a substitute to senior leader and Rajya Sabha member RCP Singh but that is not the case in the party, and so, he decided to clear the air once and for all so that any blame did not fall on him later.
Since Kishor’s entry in JD (U), he has been viewed as a man on whom Nitish Kumar had immense trust and confidence, making him an eyesore for a section of senior party leaders.
The Hindustan Times report has also mentioned that Kishor’s inclusion in a three member team comprising JD-U general secretary KC Tyagi to explore party’s prospects beyond Bihar, is a signal that he should not meddle much in Bihar politics which is to be decided by other leaders.
Another reason of his tweet clearing the air on his present role in JD(U), are reports that he is in Andhra Pradesh, working on the campaign of YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy. Sources say that he has dropped hints that after finishing his assignment with Reddy, he may turn his attention on the Shiv Sena and then take on "more political challenges".
Kishor, who was widely credited with the success of Narendra Modi's 2014 national election campaign and Nitish Kumar 2015 Bihar campaign, joined the JD(U) in September, 2018 as vice president. During his joining, Nitish Kumar had described him as the ‘future’.
An NDTV report, quoted their sources as saying that when it came to assigning responsibilities, Kumar asked him to oversee JD(U)’s youth wing but left more strategic tasks like stitching up alliances and seat sharing deals, to more seasoned politicians like RCP Singh and Lallan Singh.