The Hush Post| 11:06 pm|one-minute-read|
Can Kanhaiya Kumar and Prashant Kishor give a Kejri-current in Bihar elections to Nitish Kumar and BJP?
Kanhaiya Kumar is on a Bihar yatra – named Jan Gan Man Yatra. It started in January-end and will end in March. His public rallies have seen huge attendance. People returning from his rallies admit that Kanhaiya Kumar has the knack of establishing connect with his audience. And that the real problems of Bihar seem to be in his focus.
Given this latest twist, polls to Bihar Assembly later this year is going to be pregnant with various possibilities after former students’ leader Kanhaiya Kumar and poll strategist Prashant Kishor threw their in hats. As of now, the opposition is looking in tatters in the absence of RJD stalwart Lalu Prasad.
Also, when Prashant Kishor comes into the picture, earlier this week he spoke about consultations with Kanhaiya Kumar, it became the talk of the town in Bihar. Prashant Kishor has a resume that makes any political opponent nervous despite his failures with the Congress in Uttar Pradesh.
Soon people started comparing Kanhaiya Kumar’s Jan Gan Man Yatra with the state-wide tour undertaken by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh in the run-up to the assembly election there. Prashant Kishor was the brain nuancing election strategy of Jagan Mohan. His Praja Sankalp Yatra brought a seemingly unassailable N Chandrababu Naidu, who had begun setting his eye on New Delhi.
Ruling JDU-BJP-LJP alliance was absolutely confident of a comeback riding on the goodwill and popularity of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar until a couple of weeks ago.
Kishor to build a cadre of 1 crore workers by June
Now, the angry reactions by JDU leaders in particular to developments involving Prashant Kishor and Kanhaiya Kumar betray some kind of anxiety in the ruling NDA.
Some political observers in Bihar already see him as one of the future leaders of Bihar notwithstanding his abject failure in the Lok Sabha election from Begusarai seat in 2019.
Kanhaiya Kumar had contested the Lok Sabha election as CPI candidate. The CPI does not have a sizeable electoral presence in Bihar. Even if it is capable of enforcing a state-wide shut down during a hartal. The CPI does not have an organisation to pose any serious challenge to Nitish Kumar’s return in Bihar Assembly election.
Kanhaiya Kumar’s Bihar Jan Gan Man Yatra is also being compared with Nitish Kumar’s 2005 Nyay Yatra as well. It was this Nyay Yatra which brought Nitish Kumar to power in Punjab. Kanhaiya Kumar’s rallies are also being attended in good numbers. But unlike Nitish Kumar, Kanhaiya Kumar is also being pelted with stones at times. This, over sedition charges following alleged anti-national sloganeering in February 2016.
With Nitish Kumar still relying on NDA in Bihar, the emergence of aspiring new leaders in the elections later this year is likely to keep the battle zone in the state, hot.
The entry of Kanhaiya Kumar and Prashant Kishor opens up a new window to look through in Bihar election. Kanhaiya Kumar is establishing connect with the masses. And Prashant Kishor just announced his aim of building an organisation of 1 crore people by June. He announced ‘Baat Bihar Ki’ programme to reach out to each of over 45,000 villages.
If Kanhaiya Kumar and Prashant Kishor join hands, they could engineer a Kejriwal-type of current in Bihar.