Prashant Kishor announces 3,000-km Padyatra from Bapu’s ‘Karmbhumi’ | India News

PATNA: Contrary to the speculations, ace poll strategist Prashant Kishor is in no hurry to enter active politics by floating a political forum or party in Bihar, rather he will walk on the track of Mahatma Gandhi by embarking on a 3000-km long ‘Padyatra ‘ (journey on foot) from West Champaran, the place from where Bapu launched the ‘Satyagraha’ movement against the British in 1917. The launch date of Kishor’s Padyatra will also coincide with Gandhi’s birth anniversary, October 2.
Kishor announced on Thursday that any decision to form a political party will depend on the outcome of his interaction with people across the length and breadth of the state during his Padyatra, which will go on for eight to 12 months.
PK, as Kishor is popularly known, said around 18,000 people have already been identified, who will be approached under ‘Jan Surraj’ (Good Governance) campaign, which is by and large revival of his “Baat Bihar Ki” campaign announced in February, 2020 that could not take off properly.
He also ruled out any sort of collaboration with either ruling JD (U) or principal opposition party RJD, stating that both parties are responsible for “utmost backwardness” of Bihar despite their consecutive regimes over the last 30 years.
PK, in fact, started his presser in a jam-packed hall at Bapu Sabhagar here, by criticizing the governments of present CM and JD (U) patriarch Nitish Kumar and former CM and RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
“Lalu ji and Nitish ji have ruled the state over the last three decades. Lalu ji was there for the first 15 years and Nitish ji has been the chief minister over the last 15 years. Lalu ji and his supporters are of the view that social justice happened during their regime and their government gave voice to socially and economically backward people. Whereas Nitish ji and his supporters believe that they have done development of Bihar. There is some truth in both the claims but it is equally true that after 30 years of Lalu and Nitish regime, Bihar is today the most backward and poorest state in the country,” PK said.
He added: “It is certain that the same path which has brought Bihar to this backwardness cannot bring Bihar among the frontrunner states of the country over the next 10-15 years. It is obvious that it can only happen with new thoughts and efforts.”
PK, who hails from Buxar district south Bihar, said: “No one can claim that a single person is capable of bringing development in Bihar. I believe that people of Bihar, who belong to this place, understand the issues, have the capability of finding solutions and have social and political aspirations, should come together to bring such development.”
Kishor, who announced his retirement from his decade long stint in election management in May last after the power-packed West Bengal elections, said on Thursday that he has no immediate plan for floating a political party or forum.
“My effort at present is to meet a larger chunk of people having social and political aspirations and bring to them a common platform. We have identified 17,000- 18,000 such people over the last four to five months and I am going to personally meet the majority of them over the next three to four months to take forward the campaign of Jan Surraj or Good Governance,” he said.
Deliberating on the possibility of forming a party in the future, PK said: “If a large chunk of these people would come together and decide that they need a political party or organisation, then that party will be announced accordingly. Even if that party will be formed, then it will not be a party of Prashant Kishor. It will be a party of all those people who will associate with this campaign.”
In order to pursue the journey from Jan Surraj to a political party, Kishor announced the Padyatra of 3,000kms. “I will go to every town, village and even the bylanes, wherever possible to reach personally. I believe that I will be able to cover majority areas of the state through the Padytra in eight months to a year,” he said.
On being asked whether he intends to launch a movement similar to the JP movement, Kishor said: “Most names from the present breed of politicians are products of the JP Movement. There is definitely a need of another movement…Based on my interactions with around 150 people in the last three days; I can say that 90 per cent of such people are of the view that Bihar requires fresh efforts and thoughts.”
On being asked about “caste-driven” politics in Bihar, Kishor said: “I out rightly discard this notion. If you will analyse relevant data, you will find that people have come above caste lines while voting in Bihar. Even today, the highest number of votes in Bihar is with (PM) Narendra Modi ji but how many people are from his caste are in Bihar? If everybody in Bihar is voting on caste lines, then he should not get many votes. Thus, voting also depends on issues and the faces on which people have trust.”
Mentioning about the futile “Baat Bihar Ki” campaign, PK said the Covid-19 pandemic occurred immediately after the announcement, thus it could not be executed.
On being asked about his relations with CM Nitish, Kishor said: “He is very dear to me and like a father-figure. However, that relation is completely personal…It is also a fact Bihar is among the most backward states in the country based on a report of NITI Ayog, which is released by the government at the Centre, of which his party is a constituent. ”
On being asked about any possibility of any future link with the Congress, PK, who has recently turned down an offer by the Grand Old Party, said: “Congress wanted me to be a member of their Empowered Action Group (EAG). The EAG was proposed to be formed through an executive order of the Congress president. My difference of opinion was on a single point that such an empowered committee cannot be truly powerful, unless it has full sanctions from the constitution of the party.”
On being asked about the future of I-PAC, the political consultancy firm founded by him, Kishor said: “I-PAC has enough people. My colleagues are far more capable than me. I- PAC is in good hands and they would continue to work as usual. I don’t have any working relation with I-PAC and I am here to stay.”

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