Political strategist Prashant Kishor on Monday hinted that he may enter electoral politics, less than a week after he declined an offer to join the Congress.
“My quest to be a meaningful participant in democracy and help shape pro-people policy led to a 10-year rollercoaster ride,” he said on Twitter. “As I turn the page, time to go to the Real Masters, THE PEOPLE, to better understand the issues and the path to [people’s good governance]. The start will be from Bihar.”
On April 26, Kishor declined to join Congress as a member of its Empowered Action Group 2024. The group is meant to address the political challenges for the party ahead of the 2024 General Assembly elections.
It was formed after the political strategist gave a presentation to top Congress leaders and held a meeting with party chief Sonia Gandhi. While declining the offer to join the Congress, Kishor had said that the party needs leadership and a collective will to fix its “deep-rooted structural problems” through reforms.
Kishor shot to fame after advising Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign. He has had stints with many political parties since then.
His political consultancy firm, I-PAC, was believed to be instrumental in the state election victories of the Janata Dal (United) in Bihar, the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, the YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh, the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu.
Commenting on Kishor’s announcement on Monday, Janata Dal (United) national spokesperson KC Tyagi said that the political strategist himself had earlier endorsed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s governance model ahead of the 2015 Assembly elections, The Indian Express reported. “That Nitish has been CM since 2005 is proof enough of his good governance model,” he added.
The strategist had joined the Janata Dal (United) in September 2018, but left in January 2020 due to differences with Kumar and other senior party leaders.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Guru Prakash Paswan noted that this is not the first time that Kishor was trying out his hand in politics, according to The Indian Express.
“As a political activist, he is done and dusted,” he said. “He has only proved himself as a backroom manager. Political parties engage him on a professional basis. Though we wish him good luck, his move could be inconsequential.”
Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan, however, welcomed Kishor’s announcement and said that there was a need for leaders who were willing to rise above caste lines in Bihar, The Hindu reported.
“Even after so many years, where the other states have progressed, Bihar is still fighting for the basic necessities,” he said. “We are still struggling for roads, water connection, education, employment and medical facilities. Ultimately, it is for the [people of the state] to take the call.”