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‘Involved with poll strategy too’: Nitish Kumar on Prashant Kishor helping Mamata Banerjee

BJP boss Amit Shah has predicted that the stunning performance was proof that the party was well on its way to win the next assembly election and form the government in 2021.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2019 23:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Nitish Kumar,Prashant Kishor,Mamata Banerjee
The JD(U),Nitish Kumar’s party, and the BJP are in alliance both at the Centre and in Bihar. Though Nitish Kumar was present in Delhi for PM Modi’s swearing-in, he opted out of the NDA government after disagreement over berths.(ANI Photo)

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday ruled out any contradiction in his party’s vice president Prashant Kishor helping out ally BJP’s strongest critic Mamata Banerjee with her poll campaign for the 2021 battle.

Unable to stop the BJP march in the national elections and in her own state, Mamata Banerjee met with election strategist Prashant Kishor on Thursday to enroll him in her team for the 2021 assembly elections in her state. Kishor is learnt to have told Banerjee that he is game.

“He’ll tell about it himself tomorrow at National Executive meeting. He joined our party last year; he is associated with election strategy organization too and whomsoever he works for under it has nothing to do with our party,” Nitish Kumar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

From just 2 of the state’s 42 seats, the BJP’s ended up with 18 in the just-concluded elections. BJP boss Amit Shah has predicted that the stunning performance was proof that the party was well on its way to win the next assembly election and form the government in 2021.

The JD(U),Nitish Kumar’s party, and the BJP are in alliance both at the Centre and in Bihar. Though Nitish Kumar was present in Delhi for PM Modi’s swearing-in, he opted out of the NDA government after disagreement over berths. Two days later, the Bihar cabinet expansion took place with eight new ministers, all from the JD(U). Allies BJP and LJP were left out of the cabinet expansion.

Mamata Banerjee had reached out to Prashant Kishor ahead of the 2016 assembly elections too. Sources told HT that Kishor had then declined the offer since he was already involved in the Congress’s campaign for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh and Punjab elections.

The BJP promptly taunted Mamata Banerjee for being forced to turn to the election strategist.”One year ago she said she does not need experts like Kishor. Why is she thinking differently now? Nobody can save her from the outcome of the 2021 Assembly polls,” said Bengal BJP vice president Jay Prakash Majumdar .

Kishor had most recently worked with YS Jaganmohan Reddy who wrested Andhra Pradesh from Chandrababu Naidu and swept the assembly elections.

But it is his association with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s winning election campaign in 2014 that really shot him to face. The next year, he scripted the campaign strategy for Bihar’s Lalu Yadav-Nitish Kumar grand alliance. Much later, he also played a key role in the Congress’s success in ending the Akali Dal rule in Punjab.

First Published: Jun 08, 2019 19:34 IST