RJD divided over Prashant Kishor; Bihar Congress to consult higher-ups

Janata Dal (United) Vice-President Prashant Kishor (PHOTO: @PrashantKishor)

RJD supremo Lalu Prasad's elder son Tej Pratap Yadav on Thursday asserted that expelled JD(U) leader Prashant Kishor was "welcome" to join his party even as he ticked off a senior colleague for having likened the poll strategist-turned-politician to "dirty water" drawn from a "gutter".

Yadav took strong exception to the remarks of Jagadanand Singh, the RJD's Bihar unit chief, made in response to queries about possibility of Kishor siding with the party given his good equations with Prasad.

Likening the JD(U) to a "gutter", Singh had asked whether people "collected (its) dirty water into buckets and took it home" and remarked "we are not like Nitish Kumar who spoke of Sangh-mukt bharat and ended up in its lap".

Yadav expressed his strong disapproval and wondered "is this the type of language that behoves a person of my father's generation? This is certainly not in sync with the political principles of Lalu Prasad".

"Prashant Kishor is most welcome to join our party, if he so desires. Jagadanand Singh would do better to choose his words more carefully," remarked the mercurial RJD leader, who is known to engage in spats with his party's old guard.

Kumar's JD(U) had fought the 2015 assembly polls in alliance with RJD and Congress. Kishor, who had handled Narendra Modi's campaign during Lok Sabha polls, had worked for the Grand Alliance, which trounced the NDA at the hustings but got weakened with Kumar's exit in 2017.

In a TV interview last year, Kumar had spoken of Kishor's close ties with Prasad and claimed that despite being the JD(U) national vice president, he had regular conversations with the RJD chief who is in Ranchi, serving sentences in fodder scam cases.

Prasad's wife and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi had also claimed that upon feeling uncomfortable with the BJP, Kumar had sent Kishor to their residence as his emissary with an offer of rapprochement, which they turned down.

The 42-year-old was shown the door by the JD(U) Wednesday, less than 24 hours after he accused the Bihar Chief Minister and the party's national president of having "lied" that he was inducted upon Amit Shah's recommendation.

Meanwhile, state Congress president Madan Mohan Jha said he would consult the party high command about the viability of engaging Kishor, "with whom we have worked and are comfortable with".

"We worked together in Bihar in 2015 and Kishor worked for the party in some other states thereafter. But a decision on whether we could utilize his skills and experience has to be taken at a higher level. I will consult the high command on this issue," Jha told reporters.

Along with Kishor, the JD(U) also expelled diplomat-turned-politician Pavan Varma, who had riled the Chief Minister by reminding him of apprehensions he expressed "in private" about the BJP after his return to the NDA.

Kumar had taken strong exception to Varma sharing on social media a letter the latter wrote to him which touched upon sensitive issues like the JD(U) chief having felt "humiliated" by the BJP at one stage.

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