A public health expert by training, Mr Kishor had worked for the United Nations for eight years before taking the plunge into Indian politics.
Patna: Poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who has been widely credited for the massive victory of the grand secular alliance in 2015 Bihar Assembly elections, joined the ruling JD(U) at chief minister Nitish Kumar’s residence on Sunday amid indications that the party chief is preparing to groom the policy adviser as his political successor.
“He is the future I tell you,” Nitish Kumar told reporters, on Mr Kishor, 41, joining his party.
A public health expert by training, Mr Kishor had worked for the United Nations for eight years before taking the plunge into Indian politics. He was heading Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG), an election-campaign group he had conceptualised.
Mr Kishor, who was part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s successful campaign in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, is likely to get a role in Bihar government in the next few days.
JD(U) so-urces said that Nitish Kumar may field Mr Kishor as a candidate in the coming 2019 general elections.
Mr Kishor’s entry into the JD(U) was formalised at the party’s state executive meeting where issues like seat-sharing within the NDA and strengthening party at the grass root level were discussed.
There is also a buzz that the long confusion over seat sharing within the NDA has also ended. JD (U) leaders who attended the state executive meeting on Sunday quoted Mr Kumar as saying that “there is no trouble with the BJP over issues related to seat-sharing”.
Reports suggest that Mr Kumar during the meeting announced that JD (U) will be getting an “honourable number of seats” for the 2019 general elections.
Senior JD(U) leader R.C.P. Singh said after the meeting that discussion with the BJP over seat-sharing is in final stages and an official announcement will be made soon. He also said that the party has decided to launch several programmes at the booth level to strengthen the JD(U)’s base in Bihar ahead of 2019 general elections. “Several programmes to strengthen our party’s base will be launched at the booth level. Our party will also benefit from the experiences of Prashant Kishor,” Mr Singh said. Sources claimed that Nitish Kumar may ask Prashant Kishor to work out a strategy to propagate the state government’s developmental projects at the panchayat level.
On Sunday, before joining the JD(U) Mr Kishor, in a tweet, said that he was “excited to start a new journey from Bihar”.
Last week during an event in Hyderabad, Mr Kishor had hinted at his political debut by saying that “I will do something that connects me to the grassroots level. I may either go to Gujarat or Bihar”.
Sources claim that Mr Kishor had met the chief minister several times earlier this year to discuss JD(U)’s strategy. It was Mr Kumar who wanted Mr Kishor to take up an active role in the party as a member, said JD(U) sources. Mr Kishor is also credited with the return of Congress in Punjab during 2016 Assembly elections. However, in 2017 his strategy didn’t work in Uttar Pradesh as the Congress could win only seven Assembly seats.