Ahead of the crucial assembly elections scheduled for October-November, expelled Janata Dal (United) vice president Prashant Kishor on Tuesday launched the “Bihar ki Baat" campaign to bring together one million people on board over the next 100 days.
Conceding it was JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar’s prerogative to remove him from the party post, the political strategist accused the Bihar chief minister of making ideological compromises with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to remain in power.
Speaking to the media in Patna on Tuesday for the first time since his removal from the JD(U) on 29 January, Kishor said Bihar needs a leader who does not shy away from expressing his views and is not dependant on others’ decisions. “We need a leader who is empowered, does not hesitate in speaking their mind and does not piggyback on others."
“He (Kumar) has often spoken about how he cannot leave the ideals of Gandhi, Narain and Lohia...At the same time, how can he be with the people who support the ideology of (Gandhi killer Nathuram) Godse? Both cannot go together. If you want to stay with the BJP, I don’t have any problem with it, but you cannot be on both sides," Kishore added.
Kishor had repeatedly questioned Kumar’s stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA, which eventually led to his ouster. However, he clarified that he was not launching a political party, or extending his support to any alliance in Bihar for now.
“He should keep batting for the Aam Aadmi Party. It’s better for him to devote his time to furthering his ‘vyavsaya’ (business). Politics is not his cup of tea," JD (U) spokesperson K.C. Tyagi said in a sharp retort.
Kishor, who belongs to Bihar, had worked actively for Kumar’s election campaign in 2015 and was later brought on board to implement the state government’s policy initiatives.
PTI contributed to this story