Patna: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday appointed Prashant Kishor as the vice-president of JD(U), signaling loud and clear that he considers the election strategist to be No. 2 in the party.
Kishor, who is credited with delivering election victories for Kumar as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had taken the political plunge last month.
Just after Kishor joined the party, Kumar had hinted that he considers him to be his political successor. “Prashant is the way forward,” he had told the party men.
Party spokesperson KC Tyagi said Kishor’s appointment will help it reach out to social segments out of its traditional support base.
Kishore started his career as a public health expert and worked for programmes run by the United Nations. Ahead of the 2014 general elections, Kishore worked closely with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election campaign.
He parted ways with the BJP thereafter and is credited with bringing all opposition parties together in Bihar to script a massive victory of JD(U), RJD and Congress combine in 2015.
According to sources, Kishor and Kumar had developed a great rapport when the two scripted the unlikely victory.
By picking Kishor, Kumar has offered an alternate model for choosing his successor in a polity where blood is given preference and is trusted over relationships built on common vision and understanding.
He has also avoided the bloody succession battles seen in other regional parties like the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and the DMK in Tamil Nadu.
Sources said Nitish had in the last couple of months proclaimed in front of his closest aides that it would be “Kishor deciding the way forward for the JD(U)”.