Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose meetings with Opposition leaders with a call to unite ahead of the Lok Sabha elections have sparked a buzz in the national capital, has taken a sharp jibe at his former associate and party colleague Prashant Kishor. The ace poll strategist, who recently remarked that Nitish Kumar’s fallout with the BJP. which led to the return of the Mahagathbandhan to power, may not have a national impact.
Terming Kishor a “publicity expert”, Nitish sought to dismiss the former JD(U) vice-president’s remarks, suggesting that he may be trying to covertly help the BJP.
“Working with other political parties is his business. Whatever he has got to do in Bihar, does not concern us. Does he know the ‘ABC’ of all that has been done since 2005?” Kumar asked speaking to reporters in Delhi on Wednesday.
“The statements that he has been making… he may want to stay with the BJP. Maybe, he wants to help them,” the Bihar CM said.
Nitish Kumar and Prashant Kishor fell out over the latter’s consistent objections to the Citizenship Amendment Act that was brought by the Centre when the Bihar CM was still part of the BJP-led NDA. Kishor, who swiftly rose through the ranks within the JD(U), was expelled from the party in 2020. He was appointed JD(U) vice president in October 2018.
Kishor, who has recently become active in Bihar, has been critical of the Congress and Nitish Kumar over the past few months. Following Kumar’s exit from the NDA, Kishor said that he hoped the Bihar CM would manage to fulfill the aspirations of the people of Bihar as part of the new alliance.
When asked if the political happenings in Bihar could have a national impact, Kishor said that the realignment was specific to one state, and viewing it as a model for a national alternative would be ill-advised.
“Bihar is a big state, but it is unlikely that this incident will have an immediate impact on politics at a national level,” Kishor had then said.
Nitish Kumar is on a visit to the national capital and has been meeting several Opposition leaders across parties to build up support for a united Opposition to take on the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. During his visit so far, Nitish has met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, and leaders of Left parties.
On Wednesday, Nitish sought to dismiss his efforts to unite the Opposition as a bid to build a third front. “This will be the main front against the BJP,” Nitish told reporters.