Nitish Kumar Reveal On Party No 2 Prashant Kishor Involves Amit Shah

Nitish Kumar Reveal On Party No 2 Prashant Kishor Involves Amit Shah

NEW DELHI: Election strategist Prashant Kishor's political debut as the number two of Bihar's ruling Janata Dal United was BJP president Amit Shah's idea, Nitish Kumar shared at an event on Tuesday.

It was Amit Shah who dialed Nitish Kumar twice to recommend that he appoint Prashant Kishor as his deputy, the Bihar chief minister told news channel ABP in Patna.

"For the first time, I would like to make it public that giving a party post to Prashant Kishor was not entirely my decision. I got calls from Amit Shah twice to give him a post in the party," Nitish Kumar said.

But he clarified that he is also very fond of the strategist-turned-politician. Prashant Kishor has been tasked with the job of connecting the party with the youth as it heads to the national election, due by May. "Prashant Kishor has been assigned the task of attracting young talent, from all social segments, to politics which was becoming inaccessible to those not born in political families," he said.

Prashant Kishor is credited with crafting a winning strategy for the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2014 national election, and also producing election gold for Nitish Kumar in the 2015 Bihar polls. The Congress campaign for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh election became a blemish in his extraordinary track record.

"He was not a newcomer for us. He had worked with us in the 2015 assembly polls. For a brief period, he was busy elsewhere," Nitish Kumar said.

Nitish Kumar's admission indicated that Prashant Kishor's rehabilitation after a less-than-successful stint with the Congress was a joint move by the top leaders of both the BJP and JDU. Many also saw it as a revelation that Nitish Kumar is amenable to "advice" from his bigger alliance partner when it comes to appointments within his own party.

Nitish Kumar sought to address speculation about his successor as he said the choice would be made by the public, unlike in "other parties" where family comes first. He referred to former allies-turned-rivals like Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Samajwadi Party.

Leaders like Tejashwi Yadav (Lalu Yadav's son) and Akhilesh Yadav "ought to remember that whenever they win an election, they are blessed by the people for whatever promise they themselves hold and not by virtue of their family background," he remarked.