Election strategist Prashant Kishor, reacting to former mentor Nitish Kumar’s dig that he wanted to be with the BJP, today posted his response with a set of photos, without comment. A tweet, now deleted, featured four photos in which Nitish Kumar is seen smiling with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The latest bout between Nitish Kumar and his one-time party number two was triggered by Prashant Kishor’s taunts after the Bihar Chief Minister swapped allies recently, dumping the BJP and forming a new coalition government with Tejashwi Yadav’s RJD and the Congress.
“Nitish Kumar was with the paksh (ruling party) a month ago and now he is with the vipaksh (opposition). How dependable that is, is up to the people to decide. But I don’t think that the new dispensation in Bihar will have any big impact on the nation. I see it as a state specific development. I don’t think it will have any impact on national politics, but anyone is free to try,” said Prashant Kishor or “PK”.
The comment was seen to downplay the significance of Nitish Kumar as a national player who can challenge PM Modi in the 2024 election.
Mr Kumar scoffed at PK’s assessment while talking to reporters in Delhi after a series of meetings with leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal and Sharad Pawar amid buzz about him emerging as the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate.
“That man (PK) came with me and then I told him to quit this work and come with me. But he didn’t listen to me and throughout the country kept working for so many parties… it is his business (dhandha),” Mr Kumar told reporters.
“In Bihar, whatever he wants to do, he is welcome. But his statements had no relevance and you talk about statements but does he know ABC of what we have done and how much work has been done since 2005? But they are so good in publicity and statements and he is expert in these and keeps talking rubbish. When someone is talking like this, then try to understand he must have something in his mind. Like he wants to be with BJP or help BJP in a hidden way,” the Chief Minister sneered.
PK, an ace poll strategist with an impressive list of clients including the BJP, Congress and the Trinamool Congress, was made the Bihar Chief Minister’s number two in the Janata Dal United but was sacked within two years for “indiscipline” after his sharp, public criticism of his then boss.