Janata Dal (United) politician Prashant Kishor today criticised Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu for calling him a "Bihari dacoit", terming it as a display of "prejudice and malice against the eastern state" ahead of imminent defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.
The poll strategist-turned-politician was reacting to a news report that reportedly had Mr Naidu accusing him of deleting lakhs of names from the Andhra Pradesh voter list as well as giving "criminal advice" to the YSR Congress. "An imminent defeat can rattle even the most seasoned politician. So I am not surprised with the baseless utterances of @ncbn (Mr Naidu's Twitter handle). Sirji, rather than using derogatory language that shows your prejudice and malice against Bihar, just focus on why the people of Andhra Pradesh should vote for you again," Mr Kishor tweeted, sharing a link to the news item.
Assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh will be held alongside the Lok Sabha elections this year. Only last year, Mr Naidu had pulled out of the BJP-led NDA -- of which the Janata Dal (United) is a part -- to protest against the non-fulfilment of a promise to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
An imminent defeat can rattle even the most seasoned politicians. So I'm not surprised with the baseless utterances of @ncbn- Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) March 19, 2019
Sirji rather than using derogatory language that shows your prejudice & malice against Bihar, just focus on why people of AP should vote for you again. https://t.co/CYSJNRJ43W
Mr Kishor, however, is no stranger to controversy himself. The politician had earlier told a media outlet that he did not approve of the manner in which the Janata Dal (United) tied up with the BJP after ditching the Grand Alliance in 2017, creating a flutter in party circles and spurring the Rashtriya Janata Dal to term it as a vindication of their view.
Although Mr Kishor is now the vice-president of the Janata Dal (United), his previous career as a poll strategist had brought him close to parties cutting across political ideologies. After achieving fame through his handling of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's successful campaign in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he played an important role in forming a Grand Alliance to bring down the National Democratic Alliance in the Bihar assembly polls the following year. However, his collaboration with the Congress for the Uttar Pradesh and Punjab assembly elections in 2017 could only produce mixed results.
(With inputs from PTI)