What is happening in Indian politics? Nitish Kumar, who has been the Chief Minister of Bihar for a long time, is accusing a ‘strategist’ by citing the Union Home Minister. It was answered on Twitter, the discussion also took place on Twitter and the issue will also be concluded among the intellectuals on Twitter.
It is being discussed as Prashant Kishore has been removed from the JDU for ‘anti-party activities’. So what are these activities and what do they have to do with the current political scenario in the country? To learn about these, you will have to know who is ‘Prashant Kishor’.
Remember the era when all the scams and controversies like 2G-3G, Commonwealth had surrounded the Congress. After years of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement, the country came together on a platform on an issue. It is as if a new war of ‘freedom’ had erupted against the Congress, as if the country was once again in the 1970s period when JP (Jaiprakash Narayan) talked about overthrowing those in power.
There was no need for a strategist to understand that the Congress government was going to collapse, a hero was needed who emerged as ‘Narendra Modi’. Modi’s government was formed with a thumping majority, and then through the media, the public got the information — ‘Meet the person who played an important role in building up the Modi government – Prashant Kishor’
Was Prashant Kishor the one who formulated the BJP’s election strategy in 2014? No.
Was Prashant Kishor the one who wrote the election slogans or Modi’s speeches? No.
Was Prashant Kishore the one who set the policies of the BJP organization? No.
Then who was Prashant Kishor? And why was he being credited with a party’s victory?
Prashant Kishor’s ‘political entry’
As soon as Rajnath Singh announced the name of Narendra Modi as the ‘Prime Ministerial candidate’ of the BJP in 2014, there was a different kind of enthusiasm among the BJP workers across the country. Modi started getting tremendous support from every section including youth, students and women. Teams of intellectuals from all over the country started gathering and asked for an appointment with Narendra Modi and sought permission to work in his election campaign. In such a situation, Modi entrusted the responsibility to his then OSD Prashant Kishor, to organise this entire team to listen to his views and consider bringing it to implementation.
The ‘Fertile Brains’ across the country together gave a new colour to the election campaign and Prashant Kishor went on to emerge as the hero of the campaign. This was completely new to Kishor, as he had no experience or expertise in running a national level political campaign. But Kishor, along with the team, tried to fulfil the responsibility given by Narendra Modi.
Prashant Kishore ‘pique’ with BJP
Media reports claim that Prashant Kishor had an important role to play in making Modi the Prime Minister. However, he never thought about why someone would maintain a distance from him after becoming Prime Minister? If sources inside the party are to be believed, the story behind it is something else.
Prashant Kishor launched two campaigns in 2014 by holding discussions with intellectuals from all over the country.
– The first ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ (discussion over tea)
– The second ‘3D rally’ that talked about taking the Prime Minister to the villages and despite all the difficulties, Kishor managed to make it somewhat successful.
According to internal sources, Kishor’s major dispute with the party was the ‘financial irregularity’, which caused him to upset Narendra Modi who then began maintaining a distance from him. After that, discussions on Prashant Kishore were not heard in political circles for a long time.
*Return of Prashant Kishor and ‘Brand PK’
The results of the Lok Sabha 2014 elections were announced and articles on Prashant Kishor suddenly started appearing. These articles were neither released on the basis of any data provided by the BJP nor based on any information received from Narendra Modi’s office. But the discussion of ‘brand PK’ was very much among the intellectuals and there was a lot of curiosity about him in the political parties.
Having shifted to the JDU, Kishor once again got credit for the Bihar 2015 assembly election results in which Nitish Kumar won in alliance with Lalu Prasad.
Prashant Kishore received the ‘Congress’ as a gift and he had become a ‘professional strategist’. Instead of discussing tea, ‘Khat Pe Charcha’ came but no policy in Uttar Pradesh worked. When the results of the 2019 elections came, PK shifted the blame on Rahul Gandhi, ‘If the product is not solid, policies do not work’.
The Nitish-Lalu alliance collapsed and internal differences emerged once the NDA government was formed in Bihar.
Prashant Kishor, who has been opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act for a long time, is currently campaigning with the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi.
In such a situation, Nitish Kumar, who once gave the number two position to PK in his party, accused PK through social media, holding Amit Shah responsible for it, leading to his ouster.
*Increasing trend of ‘electoral strategists’ in the country!
Didn’t political parties contest elections before 2014? Be it the party or the opposition, I-PAC or Cambridge Analytica, the direct interference of non-political strategists in the party’s policies is taking them far from the truth. Perhaps this is the reason that every decision of the central and state governments revolves around ‘elections’ now. If it becomes the goal of governments to win elections in place of public service and non-political professionals will become the basis of the information of governments instead of ‘ground-based’ workers, then the goal of ‘national interest’ will be left behind.
(Vedank Singh is a Political commentator. Views expressed by him are personal)