Prashant Kishore seen with Nitish Kumar at JDU's meet in Patna on Sunday. (JDU/Twitter)
Prashant Kishore, the master poll strategist, is set to take up new assignment in West Bengal. There are reports coming from political corridors that Kishor’s firm has been reportedly roped in by Mamata Banerjee to change Trinamool Congress’ current situation in West Bengal. Reeling under the aftermath of the recently concluded Lok Sabha Elections, Banerjee is understood to have taken help of Kishor to infuse new energy into the cadre. But this ‘help’ has lots of political ramifications for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who is in an alliance with the BJP. As part of the ruling National Democratic Alliance, Kumar is in a tight spot to explain how exactly is Kishor helping Banerjee, the political nemesis of the BJP.
So, on Sunday, when the top leadership of the JDU met in Patna, there was a strong buzz that the party will finally say something on this new arrangement. And it did. According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the JDU has distanced itself from Kishor’s new assignment in Bengal. Senior JDU leader KC Tygai was quoted as saying that people had no qualms over Kishor helping out Jagan Mohan Reddy. There was no concern, so why now? He also said that the JDU has nothing to do with Prashant Kishor’s private firm and its dealings.
Prashant, who was with Jaganmohan Reddy earlier, played a pivotal role in YSR Congress chief Jagan Reddy's sweep in Andhra Pradesh, where the incumbent Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu's party was voted out of power. After winning all 25 Lok Sabha seats and over 150 of the 175 assembly constituencies, Jagan Reddy took power in the state for the first time.
In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Kishor was appointed as vice president of Bihar's Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's party - the JD(U). He has also been in the controversy when the RJD accused him of being the emissary for Nitish Kumar, requesting the RJD to let Kumar return to the Mahagathbandhan.
Kishor who is also credited for handling Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2014 campaign had delivered Bihar to Nitish Kumar during the 2015 assembly elections. In the list of his successes is the recent Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress' win in Andhra Pradesh. The YSR Congress won 22 out of 24 Lok Sabha seats as well as 151 out of 175 assembly seats in the simultaneous polls this year.