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Opposition Unity Needs Rational Narrative, Says Prashant Kishor

 Talking to reporters in Bihar's Samastipur district, he refused to attach much political importance to the split in NCP in Maharashtra and the CBI chargesheet against Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav.

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Prashant Kishor
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Political strategist-turned-activist Prashant Kishor on Tuesday said the opposition unity drive would reap electoral benefits only if it came up with a "narrative" and did not rely solely on "arithmetic". 

 Talking to reporters in Bihar's Samastipur district, he refused to attach much political importance to the split in NCP in Maharashtra and the CBI chargesheet against Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav. 

  "A combined opposition can work only if it succeeds in creating a narrative against the regime. The Janata Party experiment came on the back of the Emergency and Jayaprakash Narayan's mass movement. During VP Singh's rule, the Bofors scandal had caught public imagination," said the IPAC founder. 

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  Kishor said, "Mere political arithmetic, devoid of a rational narrative, is unlikely to strike a chord with people." 

 Kishor, who has given up political consultancy, recently revived his "Jan Suraaj" campaign in Bihar after a gap of more than a month during which he nursed a ligament injury. 

  Asked about the development in Maharashtra, Kishor said, "It is for the people of that state to decide whether what has happened is appropriate or not. But normally a party does not lose its support base just because of some MLAs jumping ship. I don't see any serious impact on NCP." 

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  He also scoffed at reports in a section of the media speculating that the Bihar CM had grown wary of a fate, similar to that of the NCP, being met by his JD(U). 

  "Politicians are far too hardnosed to be swept away by the cycle of breaking news. Maharashtra's development will have no impact outside that state, just like the upheaval in Bihar last year did not affect politics elsewhere". 

 He, however, added, "I repeat that the Mahagathbandhan will not retain its current composition by the time the state faces its next assembly polls. Former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi's exit points in that direction. But any major shift is unlikely before Lok Sabha elections." 

  On the fresh CBI chargesheet against Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav, he said, "People do not resent any politician facing legal action for alleged wrongdoing. But it is becoming a matter of concern to them that only those in the opposition are caught and those who make peace with the ruling dispensation are let off". 

  He, however, added, "It is wrong to believe that crackdown by an investigating agency will help a leader reap political dividends by playing the victim card. Such attempts do not find traction with people".

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