Prashant Kishor, the political strategist who was expelled from the Janata Dal(United) by party boss Nitish Kumar for his stand against the citizenship law, has said he will continue to be politically involved in his home state of Bihar.
Prashant Kishor and former Rajya Sabha member Pavan K Varma, once the closest aides of Kumar, have attacked the citizenship law that enables the government to fast-track citizenship for non-Muslims from three neighbouring Muslim-majority countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Kishor had also pointed out that the citizenship law, if combined with the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), held the potential to harass people from the Muslim community.
“I am not giving up my political journey in Bihar,” said Kishor on Monday.
Kishor, however, did not elaborate on how he would go about it.
“I will speak about that in Patna,” he said.
He will reach Patna on Tuesday on his first visit to Bihar after being expelled from the JD(U) following his criticism of the party’s stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act. The JD(U) had backed the legislation in Parliament.
However, people close to him say he may not like to take a direct plunge into politics after his bitter experience with the JD(U).
“You never know how he will go from here in Bihar, but he will certainly have to use the existing situation and players to make a splash,” a person, who worked with him in 2015, said on condition of anonymity.
“The good thing about him is that he does not have a direct stake in politics, and yet politicians of all hues like to associate with,” the person quoted above said.
Kishor played a key role the in brokering an alliance between Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and JD(U) for the assembly polls and defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar in 2015, when the Modi wave was at its peak.
After the results, he had said he wanted to focus on Bihar and remain in the state for the next 10 to15 years.
The AAP’s Bihar unit chief Shatrughan Sahu, who is also coming from Delhi on Tuesday, said Kishor’s association with the party in any capacity in Bihar would always be a strength due to his clean image, clarity of thought and intent for positive politics.
“We will fight the 2020 Bihar assembly elections with greater intensity than ever before and we will welcome people with a clean image, who want to do something positive for Bihar,” Sahu said.
Indian Political Action Committee, the election strategy firm set up by Prashant Kishor, was roped in by the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party for the campaign in the run-up to the Delhi assembly elections.
The AAP won a thumping majority by winning 62 of the 70 assembly seats in the February 8 Delhi elections.
Hitherto not a big player in Bihar, the AAP had failed to find space in the Grand Alliance (GA) in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and contested three seats of Kishanganj, Bhagalpur and Sitamarhi without any success in the sweep by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) sweep.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the AAP had contested 39 of the 40 seats in Bihar but could win none. In the 2015 assembly election in Bihar, it did not contest but backed the anti-BJP group.