New Delhi: In a cryptic tweet Monday, political strategist Prashant Kishor said he is going back to the “real masters”, the people, to better understand the path to take in “people’s good governance”.
Kishor, who’s been in the news recently for his talks with the Congress that ultimately resulted in him deciding not to join the party, also said this “path” will “start from Bihar”.
“My quest to be a meaningful participant in democracy & help shape pro-people policy led to a 10yr rollercoaster ride!,” said Kishor in his tweet.
My quest to be a meaningful participant in democracy & help shape pro-people policy led to a 10yr rollercoaster ride!
As I turn the page, time to go to the Real Masters, THE PEOPLE,to better understand the issues & the path to “जन सुराज”-Peoples Good Governance
शुरुआत #बिहार से
— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) May 2, 2022
“As I turn the page, time to go to the Real Masters, THE PEOPLE, to better understand the issues & the path to ‘Jan Suraaj’ — Peoples Good Governance,” he added, saying that the “start will be from Bihar”.
While it has been speculated that Kishor may announce his own political party after plans of joining the Congress came to nought (at least for the moment), sources told ThePrint that Monday’s tweet was not an announcement of a political front. At least, “for the time being”.
“The idea is to have a “people’s model” of governance, unlike a Gujarat model or a Delhi model (pushed by the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party, respectively) or something similar. In that regard, PK himself is looking to go to the people to also know what his next path will be. Whether as a politician leading a party or an activist or something else,” said a source aware of the developments. “In that sense, it is not the ‘launch’ of a political party or outfit just yet.”
ThePrint has also learnt that Kishor, who landed in Patna Sunday, is on a four-day trip to the state, where he will be meeting members of the civil society and also a few politicians. Kishor is likely to hold a meeting in Bihar Thursday, to clarify his future course of action, said sources close to him.
On 2 May last year, after Kishor and his political consultancy firm — the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) — helped the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress register a crushing win against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal, the strategist had said he was quitting the consultancy space. He, thereafter, said he was on a “sabbatical” and would announce his next move soon. He had also said that he had no association with I-PAC.
A year later, ahead of Kishor announcing his next move, a team of over 100 I-PAC employees have been deployed across Bihar for the past month, ThePrint has learnt. It is still unclear whether Kishor’s public ties with I-PAC will resume after the announcement.
Also read: ‘Strategists can only augment’, not ensure victory says KTR, confirms party working with I-PAC
‘People’s model of governance’
Explaining Kishor’s tweet, the source quoted above said there are “three separate parts to the tweet”.
“First, he’s of course discussing his journey till now, which has been a rollercoaster and he’s also articulating at least what he wanted to achieve through the journey, which is to shape pro-people policy,” said the source.
“Second, he is talking about Suraaj, which means good governance. He’s saying that he will be going to the people to seek answers on how they want to be governed. In that regard, PK himself is looking to go to the people to also know what his next path will be. Whether as a politician leading a party or an activist or something else. In that sense, this is not a ‘launch’ of a political party or outfit just yet.”
“Finally, he also says that the start will be from Bihar, meaning that this outreach to people will begin from Bihar, but may soon be taken across the country,” the source said.
Meetings with civil society members, politicians
Kishor plans to spend a good part of the next few months in Bihar, ThePrint has learnt, beginning with the trip which began Sunday.
“Over the next few days, his meeting schedule is packed. There will be some political meetings, but a good chunk of these meetings are with members of the civil society who are contributing to public good. These include doctors, lawyers, teachers etc. who are doing good work in their respective sectors,” said a source involved in organising Kishor’s plan for the trip.
“For example, let’s say there’s a doctor who owns the largest hospital in a town, and there’s another doctor who offers treatment for Rs 10 per consultation. Our choice for a meeting would be the latter.”
ThePrint has also learnt that a team of over 100 I-PAC employees were deployed in Bihar last month to work on Kishor’s plan. A functional office has also opened up in Patna.
Kishor’s last sojourn into Bihar’s political space was as vice-president of the Janata Dal (United) under Nitish Kumar, the state chief minister. However, he was expelled from the party in 2019, after which he has not officially been a part of any political party.
As a strategist, and with the I-PAC, Kishor has worked on winning campaigns for Narendra Modi and the BJP, the Congress, YSRCP, AAP, Shiv Sena, DMK and the Trinamool Congress.
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)
Also read: ‘Gandhi problem’: Why Prashant Kishor’s talks with Congress to revive the party crashed