By Ravindra Singh:
Prashant Kishor was one of the most important people in Modi’s team driving strategies for months before and during the 2014 elections. Shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stunning electoral victory, Kishor wanted to create a policy outfit for the new government. The rejection of Kishor’s idea led him to create IPAC (Indian People’s Action Committee) as an election campaign company.
Prashant started working with Nitish Kumar, the two-time chief minister of Bihar and recorded his second victory proving his mettle as an invincible political strategist. One more thing that worked in favour of Kishor, though, was the support to Nitish Kumar of Arvind Kejriwal, the anti-corruption crusader and the person to be re-elected as CM of Delhi with a landslide victory against the Narendra Modi ‘wave’.
Not long after the grand victory in Bihar, the Indian National Congress approached Kishor for the upcoming elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. He took the challenge and started working closely with Rahul Gandhi and Punjab CM candidate Capt. Amarinder Singh. But soon after that, disagreements of the Congress top leadership with Prashant Kishor over ticket distribution hit the headlines. The bigger challenge in Punjab is now the convener of Aam Aadmi Party and CM of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal who is likely to win as the pre-poll surveys predict clearly. It will be hard for Kishor to understand the political strategy of Kejriwal since he has never worked with him, unlike Modi. In Delhi, Kejriwal, with no portfolio under him other than being CM, works tirelessly towards promoting AAP nationally, often hitting directly at PM. Moreover, there are four MPs from AAP in Punjab which adds to their winning probability in the state.
The case of the Uttar Pradesh elections will be equally hard for Team Prashant Kishor considering that it’s a stronghold of regional parties like BSP and SP and that Congress has been all but out of UP politics for the last 27 years. Although Kishor claimed recently that the next CM of UP will be a Congress candidate, but the party is still struggling to convince Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to take up a more prominent role in the state. There are chances that Ms. Vadra will revive the INC but winning seems largely uncertain.
All the odds are against team PK in Punjab as well as Uttar Pradesh. Only time will tell if Prashant Kishor remains the unbeatable ‘Chanakya’ or hits the floor. The history is not entirely written yet.
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