In a recent interview with India Today, the renowned political strategist Prashant Kishor delved into the intricacies of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) decision to reintegrate Nitish Kumar and Janata Dal (United) [JD(U)] into the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
Kishor, acknowledged for his strategic acumen, dissected the move, suggesting that while the BJP might not witness a substantial increase in Bihar’s seat count, the decision carries significant psychological weight, dealing a blow to the opposition. Nitish Kumar, a key figure in the INDIA bloc, was strategically repurposed by the BJP to strategically “lose a battle to win a war,” according to Kishor.
The seasoned strategist acknowledged that sharing seats with JD(U) could potentially lead to a decrease in the BJP’s numbers in Bihar, but he underscored that the BJP’s strategy is geared towards a long-term vision rather than short-term gains.
Nitish Kumar’s return to the NDA, after leading opposition parties against the BJP last year, has sparked debates on the potential reshaping of Bihar’s political landscape. Kishor predicted that JD(U) may face challenges and lose significance by 2024, fundamentally altering the political dynamics before the state assembly elections in 2025. He went further to predict that, regardless of JD(U)’s electoral alliance, the party might not secure more than 20 seats.
Kishor emphasized the importance of perception, stating that Nitish Kumar’s previous association with the opposition bloc might not have been a game-changer, but strategically, the BJP opted for a perceptual shift by bringing him back into the fold.
Turning his attention to Rahul Gandhi’s political maneuvers, Kishor criticized the timing of Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. He suggested that Gandhi’s alternating presence between headquarters and the field might not be the most effective utilization of his time during critical periods.
Looking ahead to the 2024 elections, Kishor asserted that the BJP’s strength lies in Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He argued that while the Ram Mandir issue might not attract new votes, it is instrumental in consolidating existing support, with the focal point being Prime Minister Modi’s leadership.
In conclusion, Kishor foresaw that the BJP’s decision to share seats with JD(U) could result in a reduction of the party’s numbers in Bihar, potentially having ramifications in the forthcoming assembly election.