- Election strategist Prashant Kishor joined active politics last year
- He will not revert to his earlier career on behalf of any party, JDU said
- His meeting with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had set off speculation
Election strategist Prashant Kishor - who joined active politics last year - will not revert to his earlier career on behalf of any party, Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United said today. The sharp clarification from the party, where Prashant Kishor is Nitish Kumar's deputy, came after speculation that he had offered to craft an election strategy for Shiv Sena.
Mr Kishor had met Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackeray last week. Their discussions over lunch - photos of which were tweeted by Thackeray Junior -- had caused much buzz in view of the coming elections.
Though Sena leader Sanjay Raut had called it a "courtesy visit", Mr Kishor's impressive track record as a poll strategist had set off speculation. The day after, there were newspaper reports that he had undertaken to have his team craft the campaign for the Sena.
There were also reports that Mr Kishor had suggested a non-Congress, non-BJP alliance with Nitish Kumar at its head in case the BJP falls far short of majority in the coming national elections.
Mr Kumar's party today vehemently denied the reports.
"In NDA, the face for PM candidate remains that of Narendra Modi," said senior Janata Dal United leader Pawan Verma. "Nitish Kumar is an important person within NDA in order to further strengthen the NDA... Kumar is a leader of great stature and a leader who has a great deal of acceptability and can help strengthen the NDA," Mr Verma was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Party leaders also made it clear that there's no question of Mr Kishore taking up the role of strategist for any party. He can take up a role only when there's a decision in the party to collaborate with other NDA allies," a leader said.
Mr Kishor shot to fame after his campaign for Prime Minister Narendra Modi propelled the BJP to power in the 2014 national elections. But after falling out with the BJP, he crafted the assembly election campaigns for the Grand Alliance in Bihar and the Congress in Punjab. Last year he joined the Janata Dal United.