Prashant Kishor embarks on 3,500 km ‘padyatra’ from Gandhi ashram in Bihar’s Champaran

Poll strategist says he will make an effort to directly communicate with people and to know their basic problems

October 02, 2022 10:03 pm | Updated 10:03 pm IST - Patna:

Political strategist Prashant Kishor being welcomed by supporters during Jan Suraj Padyatra on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti in West Champaran district on October 2, 2022.

Political strategist Prashant Kishor being welcomed by supporters during Jan Suraj Padyatra on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti in West Champaran district on October 2, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor on Sunday embarked on a 3,500-km padyatra (foot march) from Bhitiharwa Gandhi Ashram of West Champaran in Bihar. On the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi who had launched his Satyagraha movement in 1917 from Bhitiharwa Ashram, Mr. Kishor began the foot march across Bihar under his Jan Suraaj (people’s good governance) campaign.

The padyatra will last 12-15 months and cover all 38 districts of the State. “During this yatra I’ll neither visit Delhi nor Patna but meet local people and get feedback on their basic problems,” Mr. Kishor said while setting off on his yatra on Sunday morning. A long carcade followed him when he made his way to the Bhitiharwa Gandhi ashram and people were seen garlanding him and shouting the slogan “ humara neta kaisa ho, Prashant Kishor jaisa ho (how should our leader be, like Prashant Kishor)”.

At Bhitiharwa, he was again given a warm reception by a gathering of mostly young men. Mr. Kishor also addressed them and asserted that he has come to Bihar to make “efforts for change in the governance of the State”. “Even my severest critic knows that I’ve some expertise in making people win elections. I will put up candidates in the coming election in the State who will give a befitting reply to my opponents ( unke daant khate kar denge)”, said Mr. Kishor at the Bhitiharwa meeting.

“On May 5, I had said that I’ll start my 3,500-km padyatra from October 2 from Bhitiharwa Gandhi ashram. I’m here today to kick it off. I’ll be making this padyatra to make an effort to directly communicate with people and to know the basic problems of their village, panchayat and block; to identify the right people to get Bihar a place among the top 10 developed States of the country in the next 10 years,” Mr. Kishor told mediapersons at Bhitiharwa Gandhi ashram. “Together we can change the fate of Bihar.”

“Firm resolve for change in governance in country’s poorest and most backward state, Bihar. First important step - along with support from society for a new and better political system a 3,500 km padyatra in 12-15 months in all cities, villages, panchayat and blocks of Bihar. For a better and developed Bihar”, tweeted Mr. Kishor soon after he began his padyatra.

Earlier, before embarking on his padyatra, Mr. Kishor said his yatra (tour) has basically three goals: identifying right people at the grassroots-level, bringing them on a democratic platform and also making a vision document for the State by incorporating views from experts in different fields, including education, health, agriculture and industry. “Bihar which was among the most developed States in 1950s is today in the list of most backward States. The motive of this tour is also to take Bihar out of this condition and also to know how to bring change in the current situation of the State”, he said.

Reacting to Mr. Kishor’s padyatra, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar quipped, “ Sab ki apni-apni icchha, yatra se nahi hai koi matlab (everyone has his own wish, this means nothing to me)”. Kishor had joined Mr. Kumar’s party, JD(U), in 2018 and Mr. Kumar had called him the “Future of Bihar”. But he was expelled from the party in 2020 after differences over the issues of National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). However, Mr. Kishor, recently had a long meeting with the Chief Minister in Patna.

BJP leader and party spokesperson Nikhil Anand said, “PK (Prashant Kishor) is a middleman, he has no leadership value or electoral worth. PK has secret tacit understanding with Nitishji and at the end of the day will join or collaborate with him. He is well known for media propaganda as well as on and off statements mentioning big names to grab the headlines”.

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