West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today met master political strategist Prashant Kishor, new agency ANI reported. The meeting went on for about an hour, with some media reports confirming that Mamata has roped in the services of Kishor’s Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), a political advocacy group that helped Jagan Mohan Reddy register an emphatic win in the recently held elections. The move comes after the BJP made deep inroads in West Bengal in the elections.
The Bharatiya Janata Party took its tally up to 18 in West Bengal, up from the 2 seats they had won in 2014. On the other hand, Mamata-led Trinamool Congress went down from 34 to 22 seats.
Stung by the BJP’s gains in her longheld citadel, Mamata Banerjee has been going lengths to ensure that her voter base does not suffer any damage in the midst of a saffron surge in the state. Clashes between workers of the TMC and the BJP have escalated ever since the declaration of Lok Sabha election results. While BJP has been accusing the TMC of practicing appeasement politics, ignoring Hindus and killing its workers, the TMC chief has alleged that the BJP was dividing the people on religious lines.
Prashant Kishor is expected to start working with the West Bengal CM after a month, ANI reported. Kishor worked with YSR Congress chief Jagan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh. The party went on to win all 25 Lok Sabha seats and 150 of the 175 assembly constituencies.
During the 2014 elections, Kishor was associated with the BJP and played a pivotal role in the party’s victory. The poll whiz is credited with several marketing and campaigning strategies for the BJP which included the ‘chai pe charcha’ campaign, ‘Manthan’ and social media interventions. He founded the Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG), a non-profit organisation that consisted of around 200 young professions from top colleges and companies in the country. They carried out BJP’s marketing and social media campaign in 2014.