Decrying the lack of development in Bihar under the rule of Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar in the last 30 years, political strategist Prashant Kishor said his plan for the next year was to understand the public’s point of view in the state and bring it to the fore.
Kishor, whose press conference had been keenly anticipated for the possible announcement of a new political party, said Thursday the decision on the formation of such an outfit would only be taken after ‘coordination between everyone’. After rejecting the Congress’s offer to join the party, Kishor on Monday had announced the beginning of the ‘Jan Suraaj’ initiative from Bihar.
The strategist outlined his work under the ‘Jan Suraaj’, saying he would spend a year in Bihar and work together with people. He also said if his party would be created, it would comprise of him and those who support him.
He has also announced a 3,000-kilometer padyatra (march) on October 2 to ‘meet as many people as possible’.
‘New Effort Needed to Develop Bihar’
“I am not going to announce any political party. In the last five months, I have established contact with more than 17,000 people, and I have met more than 150 people in the last three days. In the next three to four months, I will meet 17,000 to 18,000 people and discuss Jan Suraaj," he said.
He said Bihar has been ruled by Lalu and Nitish for the last three decades, and that while the supporters of both leaders believed in progress through ‘social justice’ or ‘development’, the truth remained that ‘Bihar was the most backward’ state under their rule. He said ‘new thinking and new effort’ was needed to pursue Bihar.
“If all the people of Bihar will not adopt the new thinking, the state cannot move forward. My focus is to meet the people of Bihar and understand their point of view, and add people for the Jan Suraaj initiative," he said.
Kishor also rejected claims that his aim was to contest politically, saying there was no election in Bihar currently, and if that was his goal, he would have come to the state six months prior to the polls and contested.
‘No Hard Feelings for Nitish Kumar’
Kishor said that in the last 10 years, people had understood him, and that in the future, he would ‘win their reverence’. “Give me a chance," he said.
Commenting on his relationship with CM Nitish Kumar, Kishor said he had worked with the leader in 2015 and held no ‘hard feelings’ towards him. “If Nitish Kumar calls me to meet, I will go. As much as he and I were together…our relationship was like a father and son, but it does not mean that I can not think separately," the strategist said, adding that he was removed from the JDU on the issue of the NRC and CAA.
Kishor also addressed queries about the Congress, and said the party needed to decide how they wanted to function further, and not him. “They took whatever decision they deemed important and so did I. Congress doesn’t need any Prashant Kishor, the party has even more capable people. They know what they have to do," he said.
On Caste Politics
The strategist said he had come to Bihar to ‘keep working in the state’, and that meanwhile, the IPAC was in ‘good hands’.
He also commented on caste politics in Bihar, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘does not have his caste votes.’ “How many people of their caste are in Bihar,? Yet people voted for him. I dedicate myself to Bihar completely. Even if I go to Congress, I won’t leave Bihar," he said.
Bihar Leaders Snub Strategist
Kishor’s ‘Jan Suraaj’ announcement had forced political pandits to analyse his future planning. Many of them believed that he wanted to start a new party from Bihar.
Kishor during an earlier tweet had hinted about going to the ‘real political masters’ which meant the people of his native state.
However, Bihar leaders seemed to want to stay away from commenting on the ongoing developments regarding the strategist. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said ‘he has nothing to do with Kishor’, and RJD leader and Leader of Opposition, Tejashwi Yadav ‘said he does not follow news about the political strategist’.
Former Deputy Chief Minister, Sushil Kumar Modi had claimed that making a political strategy and building a connect with the people are two different things. And even Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) President Lalu Prasad said Kishor’s efforts will turn into a ‘flop show’ in Bihar.