PATNA: Defending his "pichhlaggu" (underling) barb at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, poll strategist-politician Prashant Kishor on Wednesday said he was upset with the JD(U) chief's "surrender" before the BJP just to cling to power without extracting any benefit for the state.
Facing flak for linking the BJP with (Nathuram) Godse, while having worked with the party in the past, Kishor asserted that public praise of Mahatma Gandhis assassin by a mainstream political outfit was "a recent phenomenon, seen in the last six to eight months".
He said that in the seven decades since Independence only fringe elements extolled Godse here and there. "It has been only after the last Lok Sabha polls that we have seen workers of a mainstream party chanting slogans in his praise, even a Member of Parliament doing the same on the floor of the House," he told a news channel here, referring to the incident involving Bhopal MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur.
The expelled JD(U) vice president lamented the pity was that, "those aligned with the BJP, did not muster the courage to even condemn the outrageous act".
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi had on Tuesday taken a swipe at Kishor, saying the man who had cut his teeth as an election strategist for Narendra Modi in 2014, was now accusing the BJP of following "Godse". "As regards the controversy over picchlaggu remark, I have been expressing my reservations about people of the state accepting a leader who appears to be playing second fiddle (to the BJP). I might be wrong, but that is my view," the election strategist said.
"However, I was ready to accept the surrender before the BJP had it been for extracting benefits for the state from the party in power at the Centre. If the capitulation is just to ensure continuance in power in the state, that might be detested by the people", he added.
Former BJP president and Union Home minister Amit Shah has already announced that Kumar would be the face of the NDA in the Bihar assembly polls to be held later this year.
During his press conference the previous day, Kishor had refered to denial of special status to Bihar by the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi not entertaining Kumar's request for grant of central status to Patna University.
Kishor, however, disapproved of epithets like "kursi kumar" lobbed at the chief minister by the opposition RJD, saying "It is my personal belief that civility must be maintained in political discourse though all are entitled to their own convictions".