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“He wants to be with BJP”: Nitish Kumar hits back at Prashant Kishor

New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister NItish Kumar, normally silent on digs from his former aide Prashant Kishor, didn’t hold back today when asked about the election strategist’s reaction on the Janata Dal United’s split with the BJP.

“That man (PK ) came with me and then I told him to quit this work and come with me. But he didn’t listen to me and throughout the country kept working for so many parties… it is his business (dhandha),” Mr Kumar told reporters during an interaction in Delhi.

“In Bihar, whatever he wants to do, he is welcome. But his statements had no relevance and you talk about statements but does he know ABC of what we have done and how much work has been done since 2005? But they are so good in publicity and statements and he is expert in these and keeps talking rubbish. When someone is talking like this, then try to understand he must have something in his mind. Like he wants to be with BJP or help BJP in a hidden way,” Mr Kumar added.

Prashant Kishor, who had a short stint in Mr Kumar’s party, has been critical about his boss which led to his sacking in January 2020.

Last month, after Mr Kumar ended the tie-up with the BJP and formed a new government at the head of a new Grand Alliance, Prashant Kishor said it depends on the people “whether they still trust him (Mr Kumar)”.

“Nitish ji was part of their (the BJP’s) team just a month ago. Now is speaking in favour of the opposition. So how reliable that is — you have to leave it to the people to judge,” he said.

“I don’t think this new political move in Bihar will have any effect on the rest of the country,” he said. “I consider it a state specific event. But again people are free to try,” he had added.

Mr Kishor has pulled no punches since the new government was formed in Bihar.

Recently, on a query on whether Nitish Kumar continues to be as popular as he was five years ago, Mr Kishor had said, “If you look at the hard facts, there is a huge difference. In 2010, he had 117 MLAs, in 2015 he had 72 and now 43. Many political commentators say his image is teflon-coated. The numbers don’t show that.”

He had even criticised the newly formed ‘Mahagathbandhan’ government’s promise to provide five to 10 lakh jobs in the next one or two years, saying he would withdraw his ‘Jan Suraj Abhiyan’ and extend support to the Nitish Kumar dispensation is that happens.

His comment that there has been “no development in Bihar in 30 years” drew the ire of Tejashwi Yadav, Mr Kumar’s deputy.

“Prashant Kishor’s statement does not make any sense to even merit an answer. It is a baseless statement. I am not aware of his whereabouts, who is he? He has never been a factor in anything so far,” he said.