Patna: Expelled Janata Dal-United Vice President and top election strategist Prashant Kishor on Tuesday said that he has “no intention” to join politics but said he will launch “Baat Bihar Ki” campaign involving those who believe in his vision to bring the state among the top 10 states of the country.
Addressing a press conference for the first time almost 20 days after his expulsion from the JD-U for differing on the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Kishor said, “I have no intention of joining another political party or coalition.”
“My sole focus is that in the next 100 days I’ll launch this programme ‘Baat Bihar Ki’, who want Bihar to be among the top 10 states in India,” Kishor said, adding that it would reach out to people who believe that the state is in the need for new and powerful leadership.
According to Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) sources, the ‘Baat Bihar ki’ campaign is aimed to mobilise one crore youth over the next 100 days.
Kishor also said that he wants to create a political force in Bihar for the betterment of the state no matter how much time it takes.
KIshor-led (I-PAC) however, in the intervening period added another successful election to its scorecard with AAP’s stunning win in Delhi.
“We want a strong leader who doesn’t hesitate in speaking for the betterment of the state and doesn’t become someone’s follower while compromising on the development of the state,” he said in an apparent jibe at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for again aligning with BJP after the party broke the alliance in 2013.
Kishor also released the data which he claimed showed very little progress in the state between 2005 and 2015 and questioned why Nitish Kumar’s government had failed to make much difference in Bihar.
He said Bihar has failed to make any significant progress when compared to other states. “Nitishji worked in the field of education. He distributed cycles, school dress, even admission increased in the schools. But he failed to provide quality education. In the education index of the Indian Government, except Jharkhand, Bihar is the most backward state,” the former JD-U leader said.
He also hailed the JD-U President for providing electricity to every household and said, “Electricity has reached every house today but in terms of household electricity consumption, Bihar is the country’s most backward state. Household consumption per family in the country is 900 KW, but in Bihar it is 200 KW. People are poor and they can’t use more than a bulb and fan.”
He further said that Nitish government constructed roads in the state, but people are incapable of buying a vehicle to use those roads. “Vehicles ownership in Bihar is one-fourth of the country’s figure,” he said.
Slamming Nitish Kumar, Kishor said, “For how long will you (Nitish) keep harking back to the situation prevailing under Lalu Prasad Yadav’s rule? Isn’t it time that we look ahead and think of developing the state that can match the likes of Gujarat, Maharashtra or Karnataka?
“Can we not develop Bihar into a state where people from Surat in Gujarat come to find employment? How long will people of this state keep going to other states in search of employment?,” Kishor questioned.
He said Bihar, stands where it was in 2005. “There is no one to question Nitish Kumar’s governance model. I urge Nitish Kumar or any of his ministers to debate with me in open forum on data points pertaining to Bihar’s development,” he said, daring the Bihar JD-U leaders.
He further said that there is not a state with an IAS officer who is not from Bihar.
“Bihar has among the most engineering students and graduates in the country but Bihar does not have opportunities for them. Why, and till when will people from Bihar move to other states in search of jobs?,” he said.
Kishor first entered the political arena in 2011 when he met then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and helped him stitch his third consecutive win in the Gujarat Assembly polls in 2012. However, it was his active involvement in Modi’s 2014 Lok Sabha campaign “an election that is a textbook case for everything done right” that catapulted him to instant fame with his “chai pe charcha” campaign.
After the success of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the Bihar polls in 2015, Kishor was a hot property which every political party vouched for. And the results of Punjab in 2017, Andhra Pradesh in 2019, West Bengal by-polls in 2019, and now Delhi in 2020 will put him further in demand.
The only failure for Kishor was in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, where the Congress and the Samajwadi Party combine lost to the BJP despite the campaigns like “Khat pe charcha” and “UP ke Ladke”. Following the success of Kishor in several states, the most recent to join the bandwagon is Tamil Nadu’s DMK, which has also roped in I-PAC to design its campaign.