Political strategist Prashant Kishor claimed on Wednesday that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is in touch with the Bharatiya Janata Party and that he may go for a tie-up with the party again if situation demands so, a suggestion dismissed by the Janata Dal-United as misleading and aimed at spreading confusion.
Kishor, who is on a padyatra in Bihar in what is widely seen as a precursor to his fresh entry into active politics, told PTI that Kumar has kept a line of communication open with the BJP through JD-U MP and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Harivansh.
Harivansh declined to comment but his party rejected the claim and asserted that Kumar will never join hands with the BJP again.
Kishor said, "People who are thinking that Nitish Kumar is actively building a national alliance against the BJP will be surprised to know that he has kept a line open with the BJP. He is in touch with the BJP through his party MP and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Harivansh ji."
He suggested that Harivansh has not been asked to resign his Rajya Sabha post for this reason even though the JD-U has severed ties with the BJP.
"People must keep this in mind that whenever such circumstances arise, he can go back to the BJP and work with it," he said.
The JD-U slammed Kishor, with its spokesperson KC Tyagi noting that the Bihar chief minister has publicly announced that he will never again in his life join hands with the BJP.
"We strongly refute his claims. Kumar is in active politics for over 50 years and Kishor for six months. Kishor has made such a misleading comment to spread confusion," Tyagi said.
Kishor started his 'padyatra' on October 2 from the Gandhi ashram in Betiharwa in West Champaran. He has set out to complete a 3,500-km journey in the next 12-15 months through Bihar, seeking people's support to 'change' the system.
He was in the JD-U for less than 18 months before being expelled from the party in 2020 for his strident criticism of Kumar for his support to the BJP over contentious measures like the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Kumar was then a BJP ally.
The JD-U leader recently snapped his party's ties with the BJP and joined hands with the RJD-Congress-Left alliance in Bihar and has vowed to work to build an alliance against the saffron party at the national level. A united opposition will topple the BJP from power at the Centre, he has asserted.
After coming to power in Bihar in 2005 as the face of the BJP-led NDA, Kumar first broke ties with the party in 2013 and joined hands with the RJD-led opposition in the state in 2014.
However, he switched sides in 2017 only to dump the BJP again in August this year.
The BJP has accused him of changing alliances due to his "greed" for power.