Kolkata/New Delhi, June 6, 2019-
Election strategist Prashant Kishor met West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee on Thursday in an indication that he would assist the party in its preparations for the 2021 assembly polls where BJP is expected to put up a major challenge.
The meeting came in the backdrop of Trinamool Congress suffering a major setback in the Lok Sabha elections having won only 22 seats against its target of all 42. The BJP increased its tally from two to 18.
Kishor was accompanied by Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee to the state Secretariat. The meeting with the Chief Minister lasted about 90 minutes.
Kishore, a vice-president of Janata Dal-United, an ally of BJP in Bihar, has successfully conducted election campaign strategies, the latest being of YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh.
Kishor was appointed as a special advisor to YSR Congress chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy in 2017 and devised the partys’ electoral strategy. YSRC won all 25 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh and a massive 151 of 175 assembly seats. I-PAC, founded by him, executed 35 campaigns in the state and touched one crore households.
Kishor’s first major political campaign was for the 2012 Gujarat assembly polls in which Narendra Modi got a successive third term in office.
But it was his work in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls which earned him wider recognition.
He created election-campaign group Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG) in 2013 and it worked for the BJP in run-up to the 2014 elections, creating innovative ideas and campaign themes.
The ‘Chai pe Charcha’ discussion was an innovation which took the Opposition by surprise.
Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) was formed in 2015 by Kishor and other CAG members. It worked with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who had an alliance with Rashtriya Janata Dal. The BJP was defeated in the elections.
After Bihar elections, Kumar named Kishor as advisor for planning and programme implementation.
I-PAC worked for Congress in Punjab assembly elections of 2017. The party led by Capt Amarinder Singh came back to power in the state after two successive poll defeats.
He also worked for Congress in 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections but the party could not do well in the state.
Kishor, who hails from Bihar and is a former UN public health official, was made Janata Dal-United Vice President last year and he worked to expand the party’s base among students and youth. (Agency)