The overrated election strategist, Prashant Kishor has yet again created a controversy. Kishor is known for not having loyalties where his mouth is, and this time around his criticism of the JD(U) over the CAB has once again revealed his political disloyalties. The JD(U) had extended its unequivocal support to the BJP on the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Dissenting from the party line, Prashant Kishor, JD(U) Vice-President said, “Disappointed to see JD(U) supporting CAB that discriminates right of citizenship on the basis of religion.” The tweet further said, “It is incongruous with the party’s constitution that carries the word secular thrice on the very first page and the leadership that is supposedly guided by Gandhian ideals.”
Disappointed to see JDU supporting #CAB that discriminates right of citizenship on the basis of religion.
It's incongruous with the party's constitution that carries the word secular thrice on the very first page and the leadership that is supposedly guided by Gandhian ideals.
— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) December 9, 2019
Echoing the same sentiment, another JD(U) leader Gulam Rasool Balyawi also said, “Minorities, especially Muslims, have been facing difficulties and restlessness after our party supported CAB in Lok Sabha. I insist you to seriously reconsider the decision taken by the party in this regard.”
Apart from Kishor and Gulam Rasool, National Vice-President of the JD(U) and senior leader Pavan Verma also dissented from the party line and suggested the party to have another thought about its position on the legislation. Despite knowing that the party leadership was uncomfortable about the statements of three of its leaders, Prashant Kishor the next day also tweeted: “While supporting #CAB, the JDU leadership should spare a moment for all those who reposed their faith and trust in it in 2015. We must not forget that but for the victory of 2015, the party and its managers wouldn’t have been left with much to cut any deal with anyone.” This, according to reports, has enraged Nitish Kumar and the senior party leadership.
The party’s official line is clear and Prashant Kishor has actually gone out of his way. Given the supremo-centred nature of the JD(U) where dissent is unwelcome, Prashant Kishor might be well on his way out from the JD(U). The JD(U) had already overestimated his potential and giving him the position of party Vice-President was obviously too much of generosity on the part of Nitish Kumar.
The CAB episode once again exposes the fact that Prashant Kishor is just a glorified number cruncher and an overrated political startegist. As such, he cannot be trusted with his political loyalties either. He only boasts of a dubious track record, wherein he has been successful only when it comes to chalking out an electoral stategy for winnable candidates. His association with the BJP campaign during the 2014 polls, for example, was a cakewalk given the kind of Modi wave the country was witnessing at that time. Similarly, his association with the YSRCP was also not the immediate cause behind Jagan Reddy’s victory, given the kind of favorable political atmosphere the YSRCP already enjoyed in Andhra Pradesh. However, when it comes to facing the BJP as the main political opponent, Prashant Kishor’s strategies have failed time and again. Take the 2017 UP Assembly polls for example. Prashant Kishor was the political strategist for SP-Congress alliance. However, the results strongly dismantled the myth of Kishor’s invincibility. The SP-Congress alliance was absolutely decimated and the BJP registered a thumping victory.
At the most, Kishor has been an excellent backroom dealer, working out unnatural alliances, for example, the JD(U)-RJD alliance during the 2015 Bihar polls. Prashant Kishor was also the one who led Nitish Kumar’s Chief Ministerial campaign in 2015 and somehow led the JD(U) into an alliance with the RJD despite the rivalry between the two parties.
Prashant Kishor also had ambitious plans of forging an alliance between the Assam Congress and the Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF, which did not materialise as the Congress backed out of any such deal. This shows that Prashant Kishor is only a brilliant backroom dealer and number cruncher at the most. As such any idea of his being a master political strategist is only a glorification of his number crunching abilities. Even when he became an apparently senior JD(U) leader, he continued his professional career of political consultancy.
Currently, he is associated with the TMC that remains one of the two main parties along with the BJP in the state of West Bengal. Here again, he has aligned with a party which does not seem to be done and dusted as yet. His entire career therefore has revolved around aligning with outfits where potential political power lies and forging unnatural alliances. His trust with the JD(U) was also nothing more than power brokering. The CAB episode really exposes the fact that Prashant Kishor is an overrated electoral startegist, but a fantastic backroom dealer.