Committed to Jan Suraj movement in Bihar, says Prashnat Kishor after meeting with Nitish Kumar

Committed to Jan Suraj movement in Bihar, says Prashnat Kishor after meeting with Nitish Kumar

The poll strategist further said that the meeting should be viewed as a courtesy call

The poll strategist further said that the meeting should be viewed as a courtesy call

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s meeting with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on September 13 appears to have been a flop for Mr. Kumar as the former on Thursday asserted that he was “committed to his Jan Suraj movement and tour across Bihar.

Mr. Kumar, earlier on Wednesday, had said the discussion was general and Mr. Kishor on Thursday said the “meeting should be viewed as a social-political courtesy call”.

“During the meeting with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, I put forward a view on prohibition in the State and how it is clearly not effective on the ground”, said Mr Kishor in a press release. He further said that he stood firmly with his vision of Jan Suraj and would be travelling across Bihar through the padyatra from October 2 and will be meeting people to take right people forward for the betterment of Bihar.

Mr. Kishor on Thursday was in Bettiah (West Champaran district headquarter) during his tour of the State. “Nitish Kumar is a Chief Minister of Bihar and I have been active in the State since May and meeting him personally was always in the picture but due to time constraints this meeting could not take place. This meeting should be viewed as a social-political courtesy call”, he added .

Mr. Kishor also said that the Begusarai firing incident in which one person was killed while, nine others injured, was “a reflection of poor law and order situation in the State”.

“A major part of the administration is primarily focusing on prohibition in the State which is affecting the general administrative system and the law and order situation in Bihar has deteriorated in the last few years. Since, Nitish Kumar is the administrative head and the Home Minister of the State it becomes his responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the residents of Bihar”, said Mr. Kishor while slamming Mr. Kumar and his governance in the State.

Earlier on Wednesday, when asked about his meeting with Prashant Kishor, Mr. Kumar told presspersons that it was a normal meeting in nature. “ Unhi se malum kijiye, koi khas baat nahi hui (ask him, there was nothing important that transpired in the meeting)”, said Mr. Kumar.

However, sources in the power corridor told The Hindu that there were something more to the meeting which had gone on for over two hours at the Chief Minister’s official residence. Former diplomat and JD(U) leader Pavan Verma too was present at the meeting. It was Mr. Verma, whose personal relation with Prashant Kishor has been very cordial, is said to have mediated the meeting between Mr. Kishor and Mr. Kumar. Though, Mr. Verma, two days back, had refuted that he was called by Mr. Kumar for any “mediation”, between Mr. Kishor and Nitish Kumar.

“During the meeting Mr. Kishor refused to come along with Mr. Kumar again in his mission 2024 of Opposition’s unity against the BJP and PM Narendra Modi and he told the Chief Minister about his commitment to work in Bihar through Jan Suraj”, said a highly-placed political source to The Hindu.

After parting ways with the BJP, Mr. Kumar has been putting his best foot forward to unite Opposition parties against PM Narendra Modi and the BJP in 2024 Parliamentary elections and for this, it is said, he “needs a strategist like Prashant Kishor to enhance his image nationally”, he added. “Besides, Mr. Kishor also enjoys good relation with some regional satraps and Mr. Kumar could politically capitalise on this through him”, said the source. Mr. Kumar and Mr. Verma tried, said the source, their best in the meeting to coax Mr. Kishor to come along with them once again but Mr. Kishor refused to relent.

“Next day, even the body language of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his loss of words at meeting with him explained everything”, said political analyst Ajay Kumar while, adding, “If Mr. Kishor would have agreed, he too like Mr. Kumar, would have lost his credibility and all his political efforts in Bihar would have fallen flat”.