2024 polls: Opposition unity a facade, won’t work, says poll strategist Prashant Kishor

Says he looks at the Opposition unity in terms of ideological alignment and there is absolutely no way the BJP can be defeated till that happens

Prashant Kishor, Nitish Kumar, BJP, JD(U)
Talking about his own ideology, Kishor said it is “Mahatma Gandhi's ideology” and the Bihar “Jan Suraaj Yatra” is “an attempt to revive the ideology of Gandhi’s Congress”. File photo

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor on Friday predicted that Opposition unity against the BJP in 2024 would “never work” as it would be unstable and ideologically disparate.

Kishor said the Opposition unity is a facade and wouldn’t be possible just by bringing parties or leaders together. He also questioned the benefits of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.

‘Understand BJP’s strength to challenge it’

“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,” he said in an interview to NDTV.

Also read: Bihar migrants issue: Why Prashant Kishor is keen to keep pot boiling

“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.”

Bid to revive ideology of Gandhi’s Congress

Talking about his own ideology, Kishor said his 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, who is credited with various 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 Kishor, who is known as “PK” in political circles.

Also read: Nitish Kumar in touch with BJP, will switch sides if need arises: Prashant Kishor

‘Had planned reincarnation of Congress’

On falling out with the Gandhis after he offered a plan to resurrect the Congress, Kishor 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.”

On Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, Kishor 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, Kishor 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.