Prashant Kishor today predicted that opposition unity against the BJP in 2024 would “never work” as it would be unstable and ideologically disparate. The ace election strategist also questioned the benefits of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Opposition unity, he said, is a facade and wouldn’t be possible just by bringing parties or leaders together.
“If you want to challenge the BJP, you have to understand its strengths – Hindutva, nationalism and welfarism. It is a three-level pillar. If you can’t breach at least two of these levels, then you can’t challenge the BJP,” Prashant Kishor said in an exclusive interview to NDTV.
“There has to be a coalition of ideologies to fight the Hindutva ideology. Gandhiwadi, Ambedkarites, socialists, communists…Ideology is very important but you can’t have blind faith on the basis of ideology,” he added.
“You guys in the media are looking at an opposition alliance as the coming together of parties or leaders. Who’s having lunch with whom, who is invited to tea…I look at it in the formation of ideology. Till such time an ideological alignment will not happen. There is absolutely no way the BJP can be defeated.”
His own ideology, he said, is “Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology” and the Bihar “Jan Suraaj Yatra” is “an attempt to revive the ideology of Gandhi’s Congress.”
The poll strategist, whose CV is studded with election victories since 2014, is touring Bihar in a “Jan Suraaj Yatra” that he insists is simply an effort to understand the state and create a new political system.
“It is to change the destiny and discourse around Bihar. Bihar is known for caste-ridden politics and many wrong reasons. It is time Bihar is known for what people are capable of,” said Mr Kishor, who is known as “PK” in political circles.
On the falling out between him and the Gandhis after he offered a plan to resurrect the Congress, PK said: “My goal was the reincarnation of the Congress. Their goal was to win the election. We did not agree on the way they wanted to implement my ideas.”
As for Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, he said the real test would be in the impact of his nationwide march on the ground.
“It is not only about walking. In six months of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, there was a lot of praise and also criticism. After six months of walking, you must see some difference? That yatra is to improve a party’s electoral fortunes. I have only been able to cover four districts. For me the yatra is not the mission but to understand the region,” said PK.
On a personal note, he dismissed the suggestion that he had grown bitter and “aggressive” over the years. “I was far more aggressive than I am right now. In fact, people tell me that I have mellowed down – I have handled many interviewers who claim to be far more aggressive,” he remarked.