- Prashant Kishor joined Janata Dal United last year as its number two
- He tweeted his role in the polls was that of "learning and cooperating"
- He is reportedly in Andhra Pradesh working on the campaign of Jagan Reddy
Prashant Kishor, the election wunderkind who joined Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) in September as the party's number two, tweeted on Friday that his role in the upcoming polls was that of "learning and cooperating" and that another veteran leader was in charge of deciding on the campaign and candidates. The surprising post telegraphed the poll strategist-turned-politician's disappointment with his party and was seen as an admission that there is no role left for him in the party.
That and the fact that he is reportedly in Andhra Pradesh, working on the campaign of YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy. Sources say he has dropped hints that after finishing his assignment with Jagan Reddy, he may turn his attention on the Shiv Sena and then take on "more political challenges".
"The NDA is fighting strongly in Bihar under the leadership of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and Nitish Kumar. On part of the JD(U), the responsibilities of poll management and campaign are on the broad shoulders of senior and experienced leader RCP Singh. In this initial stage of my political career, my role is to learn and to cooperate," Prashant Kishor, 42, tweeted in Hindi.
Prashant Kishor was credited with the success of Narendra Modi's 2014 national election campaign and Nitish Kumar 2015 Bihar campaign.
When he joined the JD(U) in September as vice president, Nitish Kumar had said: "He is the future I tell you."
Sources say when it came to assigning responsibilities, the chief minister asked him to oversee the youth wing and left the heavy-duty stuff, like stitching up alliances and seat sharing deals, to more seasoned politicians like RCP Singh and Lallan Singh. Some say he was "in a hurry" and wanted to climb up the party hierarchy so fast that he kept tripping up.
In January, Nitish Kumar's comment that he had brought in Prashant Kishor on BJP president Amit Shah's request did not look good for the former poll strategist's dimming political experience.
A tweet by Prashant Kishor made it worse earlier this month. He "apologised" in a tweet after anger over Nitish Kumar not receiving the body of a soldier killed in Kashmir. "We are sorry for the error of judgement on part of those of us who should have been there with you in this hour of grief," he said.
Finally, in an interview, he expressed reservations about the manner in which Nitish Kumar ditched the Bihar "grand alliance" to team up with the BJP in 2017.
Though Prashant Kishor remains one of the campaigners for the party and is in a panel for exploring possibilities of expanding the JD(U) beyond Bihar, there is a view that he is not as powerful as before.