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Speculation of Nitish Kumar-Prashant Kishor Teaming up for 2024

The Bihar CM and the ace poll strategist met for two hours after last week’s war of words.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with Prashant Kishor

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with Prashant Kishor. Representational Image. Image Courtesy: NDTV

Patna: Speculation of Prashant Kishor helping Nitish Kumar if he becomes the Opposition’s prime ministerial candidate in the 2024 Lok Sabha election is doing the rounds in Bihar a day after the ace poll strategist met the chief minister (CM) in the state capital on Tuesday night.

Interestingly, the latest development comes days after a war of words between Kishor and Kumar. After the CM alleged that the poll strategist might be “working for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)”, Kishor tweeted a set of four images without any comment on September 8 showing a smiling Kumar with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He deleted the tweet a few minutes later but questioned his dependability after he switched sides to the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress to for the grand alliance in the state. 


However, according to local Hindi dailies in Patna, Kishor visited Kumar on Tuesday and had a two-hour discussion followed by dinner. Former diplomat and Janata Dal (United) leader Pawan Verma, considered close to Kishor, was also present at the meeting. In fact, Verma convinced his friend to meet the CM. 

Last month, Kishor had said that he would withdraw his Jan Suraaj Yatra and extend support to the Kumar-led Mahagathbandhan government 5-10 lakh jobs are provided in the next one to two years. His comment came after Kumar assured 10 lakh more jobs other than deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav’s promise of creating 10 lakh jobs.

Officially, neither the JD(U) nor Kishor confirmed an alliance after the meeting. However, sources in the JD(U) said that Kumar wants Kishor to work with him and chalk out a strategy to emerge as the prime ministerial candidate of a united Opposition in the next general election. “Things will be clear in the coming days. It will take some time,” a senior JD(U) leader told Newsclick.

More than two years after being expelled from the JD(U), Kishor announced his entry into politics in May by forming the Jan Suraaj, aimed at transforming his home state. Though he clearly denied any plan to launch a political party, he did not rule out the possibility of his political platform taking shape of a political party at a later stage. 

The poll strategist had clarified that he would first “try to meet personally” about “18,000 people who shared his vision for Bihar” before launching the 3,000-km Yatra from the historic Bhitiharwa Ashram, Champaran, on the Mahatma’s birthday on October 2.

Kishor meeting Kumar barely two weeks before the Yatra has given a twist to state politics. “Kishor has been visiting different places and meeting people in the last few months but failed to attract more people in his fold. Sensing the ground reality of politics, he may come out with a new excuse to join hands with Kumar to help him in his ‘mission PM’,” political watcher Satyanarayan Madan told Newsclick.

Kishor has “realised that he has no social support base in Bihar’s caste-ridden politics in Bihar. It is difficult to make a difference despite tall claims and getting space in the media”, Madan added. 

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