Prashant Kishor Mum on Mamata Banerjee Issue; Nitish Looks Over

From L to R - K C Tyagi, Prashant Kishor, Nitish Kumar, and Vashisht Narayan Singh.

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Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, despite him saying on Saturday that party national vice president Prashant Kishor would clarify on Sunday why he chose to become the political strategist of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is a sworn enemy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), virtually gave permission to Kishor to go ahead and work for Banerjee while keeping his position in the Janata Dal – U as its national vice president.

Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, despite him saying on Saturday that party national vice president Prashant Kishor would clarify on Sunday why he chose to become the political strategist of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is a sworn enemy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), virtually gave permission to Kishor to go ahead and work for Banerjee while keeping his position in the Janata Dal – U as its national vice president.

During the four-hour long meeting of the party's working committee on Sunday, Kishor sat right next to the Chief Minister and laughed and whispered in Kumar's ears but other than that, neither he spoke anything about his contract with Mamata Banerjee nor anyone from his party, including the Chief Minister, asked him why he had chosen to join hand with someone who was fiercely opposed to the NDA of which JD-U is an integral part of.

Party state president Vashisht Narayan Singh said that what Kishor, who also runs a political action committee (PAC) that offers services to anyone who seeks his assistance in running a campaign, was doing in his own time had nothing to do with the JD-U and the party was not concerned about it.

Sources in the party, however, under condition of anonymity, said that Kumar is already planning his next move to dump the NDA in the next national election and is working to develop ties with Banerjee's Trinamool Congress as the next potential political partner since he has pretty much run out of parties in Bihar and despite some Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) suggesting he could return to the Grand Alliance, chances of him going back to the so-called Mahagathbandhan was practically nil.

With Prashant Kishor already in West Bengal, it is believed that he will work behind the scene to bring the two parties together.

Speaking on the occasion, Kumar maintained his stance on his current relationship with the BJP saying the JD-U would contest the next year's Assembly elections in 2020 with the saffron party but his party's tie with it would be limited only in Bihar.

"Outside Bihar, we will either go solo or will have tie-up with other like-minded parties," he said.

Party national general secretary K C Tyagi said that the JD-U would contest state elections in Delhi, Jharkhand, Haryana, and Jammu & Kashmir on its own and for the next five years, it would work on to turn JD-U from a regional party to a national party.

Tyagi further said that despite being a part of the NDA, JD-U would continue to oppose the BJP on controversial issues like Article 270, Ram Temple construction, and Uniform Civil Code.

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