Responding on the major development in West Bengal where the CM Mamata Banerjee has roped in poll strategist Prashant Kishor for her campaign in the run-up to the 2021 assembly elections, Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP's state head in WB spoke on the matter.
Though he remained tight-lipped when asked if there is an internal tussle between JD(U) and BJP, he expressed his confidence in BJP's victory in the assembly elections.
"Mamata is calling so many people to save her sinking ship, but I don't think anybody will be able to save her sinking ship. As far as Prashant Kishor is concerned it is his personal business, like a lawyer does his job, it is his job of consultancy, if he gets money for the job, he will do the job. Nobody can stop him. BJP has people with them. So even if 100 Prashant Kishor comes, they can do nothing," Vijayvargiya said.
Speaking to news agency ANI, JD(U) spokesperson Ajay Alok said:
"As far as JDU is concerned, we don't have iota of knowledge about incident - what and why he met Mamata Banerjee, we don't ahve any clue about it. Prashant Kishor joined our party as an activist, as said by our chief minister also and we expect him to be activist, now if he has some change in plans, then it is bettr that Prashant Kishor should explain for it because we don't know anything officially. You guys go and ask him. There is no number 2, we have our national president, and national executives, national office bearers and state office brearers, whatever light on this matter must come, will come through Mr. Prashant Kishor."
Meanwhile, sources have also informed that Kishor is in loggerheads with some of JD(U) leaders.
What happened so far?
Kishor whose team was an election strategist for YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh for the elections 2019, is known for his impressive strategy that leads parties to massive victories. In Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSRCP won 151 seats in the state's 175 seats. In the past, Kishor was the chief strategist for Prime Minister Modi's election campaign in 2014, after which he started his own company called IPAC that engineered the poll campaign in Punjab for Captain Amarinder Singh. In 2015, Kishor worked for the JD(U) when the party was a part of Mahagathbandhan in Bihar and led the grand alliance to their landslide victory in the assembly elections in Bihar. He has also worked for the Congress party in the assembly polls of Uttar Pradesh, however, BJP won the election. Prashant Kishor first hit headlines after helping PM Modi win 2012 Gujarat assembly election and become chief minister for the third time beating anti-incumbency.
In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Kishor was appointed as vice president of Bihar's Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's party - the JD(U). By this time, the JD(U) was back to the folds of the NDA and it was rumoured that BJP chief Amit Shah was the reason behind Kishor's appointment in the JD(U). During the poll campaign, Kishor had also been in the controversy when the Lalu Yadav led RJD accused him of being the emissary for Nitish Kumar, requesting the RJD to let Kumar return to the Mahagathbandhan. He was also vocal in slamming TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu a number of times on Twitter.
In West Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool faced a fierce fight from the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections 2019. The BJP party won 18 seats while the ruling Trinamool won 22 seats in the states. On the other hand, the JD(U) that is in alliance with the BJP, and won 16 seats in the Lok Sabha polls was not inducted in Prime Minister Modi's 2.0 cabinet. CM Nitish Kumar had said that he did not want any symbolic representation. In what is seen as tit for tat, Kumar did not include any BJP MP in his cabinet after the Lok Sabha polls. Senior RJD leader and close aide of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Raghuvansh Pratap Singh asked Kumar to join the mahagathbandhan to defeat the BJP in the state. Old friend-turned-foe of Kumar, HAM's chief Jitan Ram Manjhi also requested him to leave the NDA and join Mahagathbandhan for 'larger interest'.
Amidst these crucial political situations in the state of Bihar, Kishor joining the Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool comes as a major twist. An official statement from Trinamool and Kishor is still awaited.