PK’s Right decision: Postpone new party

Prashanti Kishor

Rama Krishna Sangem

Prashant Kishor, well known as PK, has taken a right step, to put off launching a new political party for now. We all waited for his press conference at Patna on May 5, Thursday, where is expected to announce his new political party. However, he will start a 3,000 km long Padayatra from West Champaran, where once Mahatma Gandhi had held a Satyagraha. from October 2, Gandhi Jayanti.

This shows that 46 year old PK is readying for only Bihar assembly elections in 2025, not for the coming Lok Sabha elections to be held a year before. This also shows PK is gearing up to enter Bihar politics with a bang – instead of being a coat tailing partner of a bigger party. Answering to media persons’ questions, PK made it clear that he would join hands with neither Lalu Parasad family led RJD nor Nitish Kumar led JD(U).

“I am going to meet thousands of people during my Padayatra and take their views and then decide on launching a party, if necessary,” said PK. This is a clever step. Even if he starts a party, it would appear to be an initiative at the behest of public that he met, not his own idea. This is the blueprint of many successful political startups like AAP, in recent Indian politics.

PK said that his aim is to bring about “Jan Suraj” (People’s Good Governance), not to empower any caste or community. This Suraj is slightly different from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s “Sushasan” (Good administration). In fact, Nitish is called in Bihar as Sushasan Babu. Suraj is a bigger word, dealing with the entire gamut of governance, instead of just providing good administration.

PK was honest when he said the last 30 years rule of Lalu (and his family) and Nitish has done some benefit to Bihar’s people. “Some say, the first 15 years of their rule gave voice to the voiceless, while the next 15 years improved the government functioning. But, this is not enough. Still Bihar is at the bottom of all development indices,” said the election strategist. He wants to go beyond what Lalu and Nitish have achieved for Bihar.

PK, a Brahmin by caste, is also well aware of his community limitations. When asked how can he being from an upper caste will succeed in Bihar politics which is divided by caste groups and dominated by subaltern forces, he replied: “This is changing fast. In fact, today PM Modi holds influence on a larger chunk of voters, beyond caste appeal”. This is true. PK aspires to emerge a figure above the caste groups. Just like Arvind Kejriwal of AAP in Delhi.

By all, means, PK seems to be following footsteps of Kejriwal – who a decade ago joined India Against Corruption campaign inspired by Anna Hazare. But, Bihar is not Delhi, a city-state, with high literacy levels and urban voters are high. PK hopes to create awareness among Biharis in the next three years. He may take a neutral stand in 2024 LS elections and wait for the assembly elections.

He may be right. Bihar people must have tired of caste politics, divided into two camps – Lalu family and Nitish. BJP may be a bigger force, but it will sail with Nitish in 2025 too. Till now we don’t know PK’s mind on may major issues faced by our country. His past track is confusing. He worked with almost every political party (except the Left) in India as a strategist. We don’t know whether he works only for money or any other consideration. 

This Padayatra, for about 18 months is a good opportunity to know him well. Age is on his side. PK can wait for another 15 years – by 2037 – to take a plunge into national politics. In our country, it is difficult to shine in national politics, unless a leader enjoys strong base in a state. Bihar is a big state with 40 Lok Sabha seats. If PK succeeds in Bihar, he can quickly spread to other Hindi belt states. We can expect his party decision only after 2024 LS polls.


Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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