Patna: Election strategist-turned-politician Prashant Kishor on Tuesday questioned the Nitish Kumar government’s development model, even as he sneered at the chief minister for making ideological compromises to stay in an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Kishor, who has been vocal about his opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), said Kumar needs to spell out whether he is with the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi or those who support Nathu Ram Godse.
Speaking at a press conference in Patna, he said, “Nitish ji has always said that he cannot leave the ideals of (Mahatma) Gandhi, JP (Jaiprakash Narayan) and (Ram Manohar) Lohia… At the same time, how can he be with the people who support the ideology of Godse. Both cannot go together.
“If you want to stay with the BJP, I don’t have any problem with it but you cannot be on both sides.”
“There has been a lot of discussion between me and Nitish ji on this. He has his thought process and I have mine.
“There have been differences between him and me that the ideologies of Godse and Gandhi cannot stand together.
“As the leader of the party you have to say which side you are on,” he added.
In a direct assault on Kumar’s model of governance, Kishor said Bihar was the poorest state in 2005 and continues to be so.
“There has been development in Bihar during the last 15 years, but the pace has not been as it should have,” the former Janata Dal-United leader said.
He challenged Kumar to a debate with him in an open forum on data points pertaining to the state’s development.
“People are asking what has Kumar done for Bihar’s development and what will he do if his JD-U wins the upcoming state polls,” he said.
Kishor, the architect of several successful political campaigns, announced the ‘Baat Bihar ki’ programme, aimed at making Bihar one of the 10 best states in the country. It will be launched on February 20.
He said he will work towards developing young leaders in the state.
In January, the JD-U had expelled Kishor from the party, saying his conduct in recent past has made it clear that he does not want to abide by the party’s discipline.
The party had also accused Kishor of using ‘insulting words’ against the Bihar chief minister.