BJP's Biggest Weakness Today Is Their Dependence on Modi: Prashant Kishor

"My next step in politics is how I can change the state of affairs in Bihar," Kishor stated.

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BJP's Biggest Weakness Today Is Their Dependence on Modi: Prashant Kishor

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Political strategist Prashant Kishor on Tuesday, 10 May, appeared for an online discussion with The Indian Express Group executive director Anant Goenka and The Indian Express national opinion editor Vandita Mishra, providing insights into Congress' steady decline, Bharatiya Janata Party's winning streaks, and his shifting role in Indian politics.

On being asked what the BJP's biggest weakness at present was, Kishor opined that it was the party's dependence on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

His interaction at the Express e.Adda comes at a time when his recent decision to not join the Congress has created waves within the Indian political mainstream, giving way to speculations about his plans ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Last week, after hinting entry into Bihar's active politics, Kishor asserted that he would work for the state in the capacity of a "political activist" in the coming months and announced that he would embark on a padyatra of over 3,000 km across to meet the people of Bihar.

Here are the 10 big things that Kishor said on Tuesday:

  • On stitching together an Opposition: "I am not driven by the idea of defeating someone.. my driving force in life is the desire to be successful, and I define success as the ability to influence the lives of people."

  • On his role in Bihar politics: "My next step in politics is how I can change the state of affairs in Bihar..I am the catalyst. I don't know if I would be the leader (of any political party). The team is yet to emerge."

  • On Congress's shortfalls: "Congress, which is the principal Opposition party in this country, had been the ruling party for decades. Now, they need to learn how to be in opposition and how to behave like an Opposition party."

  • On being a formidable, coherent opposition: "If you have a narrative and persist with it, more likely than not faces will emerge, look at Shaheen Bagh and farmers' protests."

  • On Prohibition in Bihar: "There is no evidence that state-led prohibition works, Mahatma was against state-led prohibition."

  • On winning elections: "To win elections, you need 4 Ms – right Message, trusted Messenger, party Machinery, and Mechanics of the campaign. The last one (eg: Coffee with Captain) is to take the leader to the masses."

  • On the evolution and 'seeming' radicalisation of the voter: "Polarisation of the voter is a overhyped idea. The methods may have changed, but the impact is largely the same."

  • On Prime Minister Narendra Modi's political ascent: "PM Modi's USP is his ability to evolve constantly. He is doing that even now. Look at how he has married his "grasp" of foreign policy with the nationalism agenda. This feeds into the voters' psyche."

  • On 'defeating' BJP's Hindutva narrative: "Less than half Hindus are voting for BJP, as per data. For every Hindu who is "impressed" with the BJP's narrative of Hindutva [and voting for them], there is one Hindu who is not...You have to appeal to the Hindus who are not convinced by the BJP's narrative."

  • On BJP's biggest opposition threat between AAP and Congress: "Congress, any day."

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