Congress set to sack Prashant Kishore as he failed to bring Narendra Modi, Nitish Kumar-type magic touch to party?

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New Delhi | Updated: December 27, 2016 2:07:25 PM

When Prashant Kishor was roped into Congress to devise strategies for Uttar Pradesh and Punjab Assembly elections, many felt the move was the need of the hour for a party that was in a tailspin.

When Prashant Kishor was roped into Congress to devise strategies for Uttar Pradesh and Punjab Assembly elections, many felt the move was the need of the hour for a party that was in a tailspin. When Prashant Kishor was roped into Congress to devise strategies for Uttar Pradesh and Punjab Assembly elections, many felt the move was the need of the hour for a party that was in a tailspin.

When Prashant Kishor was roped into Congress to devise strategies for Uttar Pradesh and Punjab Assembly elections, many felt the move was the need of the hour for a party that was in a tailspin. But since then a lot of things have changed and now several Congress leaders are not happy with the attitude of Kishor, according to The Indian Express report. They alleged he has left most of the strategising to his team members, the report said. A senior Congress leader, playing an important part in finalising the party’s campaign in Uttar Pradesh, was last week heard saying that Kishor’s team was behind “damaging” reports in a section of the media. When asked why the party was continuing with Kishor’s services, the leader replied with a wry smile, “Rahulji ko puchiye (ask Rahul Gandhi)”. Earlier Kishor had even met Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav twice, triggering speculation of a ‘maha-gathbandhan’ (grand alliance) ahead of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Two meetings took place in six days.

Prashant Kishor, a native of Bihar, had quit a UN health expert’s job in Africa in 2011 and returned to India to form a group of young professionals who devised the strategy to project Modi as the face of good governance in the 2012 Gujarat polls and the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with resounding success.

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Kishor had planned the election strategy for Nitish Kumar in Bihar Assembly elections of 2015. The Nitish Kumar government appointed him as CMs advisor and gave him the job of preparing vision document for Bihars long term development. Kishor, the man with the Midas touch, replicated the feat once again when Nitish Kumar secured a third consecutive term trouncing BJP-led NDA in Bihar where Modi, an arch rival of the JD(U) leader, had staked it all, having addressed at least 31 election rallies, unusual for a Prime Minister in a state poll.

Kishor, 37, who conceptualised and implemented Modi’s popular ‘chai pe charcha’ initiative, substituted it with ‘parcha pe charcha’ (discussion over pamphlets) under which Nitish’s poll managers sought feedback from people on the state government’s performance over the past decade. Kishor had brought together a group of graduates from India’s premier institutes and multinational companies to work on Modi’s 2014 election campaign under the name ‘Citizens for Accountable Governance’ (CAG). He dissolved CAG a few months after the elections.

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