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Nitish Kumar upset with RJD minister; admits to having met Prashant Kishor

CM Nitish Kumar confirmed meeting poll strategist-turned-activist Prashant Kishor the day before but insisted it was "normal and of no political significance." The Chief Minister stated that he has an 'old relationship' with Kishor and has no ill will toward the strategist.

Nothing political, just routine meeting, says Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after meeting Prashant Kishor - adt
First Published Sep 14, 2022, 9:50 PM IST

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar frowned on the stubbornness of his Agriculture Minister Sudhakar Singh, who belongs to the RJD, but sought to put the ball in the court of his deputy Tejashwi Yadav. Also, while talking to the media, Kumar confirmed meeting poll strategist-turned-activist Prashant Kishor the day before but insisted that the meeting was "normal and not of any political significance."

When asked about reports that the agriculture minister caused a commotion at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Kumar said, "I tried asking him (Sudhakar) about his grievances. Instead of responding, he stormed out."

Sudhakar Singh, whose father, state RJD president Jagadanand Singh, spoke about rampant corruption at a public meeting in Kaimur district two days ago. The minister, who is said to be fed up with bureaucrats in his department, has reportedly threatened to resign after being chastised by the chief minister for the government's embarrassing situation.

Sushil Kumar Modi, a senior BJP leader, and former deputy chief minister issued a statement claiming that Kumar was no longer his earlier assertive self and could not crack the whip due to 'fear' of the RJD.

When asked about Singh's claim that he would stick to whatever he said, the CM replied, "Please ask deputy CM sahib (Tejashwi)." Since leaving the NDA last month, the JD(U) leader has been working to forge opposition unity; however, he has refused to share details of his meeting with Prashant Kishor. "It was a routine meeting. It wasn't complicated. Pavan Varma, who had met me a few days earlier, had brought him along," Kumar stated.

The Chief Minister stated that he has an 'old relationship' with Kishor and denied harbouring any ill will toward the strategist whom he had chastised earlier this month in Delhi. Kishor's response had been scathing.

Kumar responded to scribes' questions about whether there were plans to bring Kishor back into his camp by saying, "Please ask him. I have nothing else to say about the matter." 

When contacted, Kishor stated that he was in the remote West Champaran district for his 'Jan Suraaj' campaign.

He had worked professionally for Kumar during the 2015 assembly elections, and upon the victory of the 'Mahagathbandhan,' he was promoted to the position of chief minister's adviser with the rank of a cabinet minister.

The IPAC founder then got busy managing poll campaigns for other parties in other states until he was inducted into the JD(U) in 2018 by Kumar, the party's national president at the time.

In a matter of weeks, he was elevated to the position of national vice-president, but he was expelled along with Varma, then a national general secretary of the JD(U), for striking discordant notes on the CAA-NPR-NRC controversy.

Kishor had admitted in media interviews that when he met Kumar in Delhi a few months ago, he was given an 'offer' to revamp JD(U), which he would not share.

Kishor's unkind assessment of Kumar's latest reversal prompted the latter to speculate that the former strategist, who had managed the spectacularly successful poll campaign of Narendra Modi, then the BJP prime ministerial candidate, might be batting for the saffron party.

(With inputs from PTI)

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