Election strategist Prashant Kishor is back in news and for a reason that may make the BJP camp happy in the run-up to Lok Sabha elections 2019. The polls next year is expected to be larger in scale than 2014 and both BJP, as well as Congress, would look to hire best possible resources. Prashant Kishor is a proven election strategist in India.
Now a report by Hindustan Times says that Kishor may once again join hands with PM Narendra Modi to boost the latter’s re-election bid in 2019. The report further says that both Modi and Kishor met recently and considered the “possibility” of working together once again. The report quotes a reliable source as saying that both Modi and Kishor have been in touch for the last six months. The election strategist has also reportedly met BJP president Amit Shah.
However, the report points out that Modi-Kishor talks are only “tentative” in nature and nothing is “final” as a lot have changed since 2014. Modi’s stature has grown, while Kishor has worked with anti-BJP parties and leaders.
Kishor had successfully worked with Narendra Modi in 2012 Gujarat assembly election campaign and in 2014 General elections.
After helping Modi win the 2014 elections, Kishor had emerged as the most sought-after election strategist in the country. However, his relationship with the top leadership of the BJP fell apart soon after the 2014 triumph. He later moved to the camp of BJP adversaries, helping Nitish Kumar-led the then Grand Alliance of RJD, JD(U) and Congress win the 2015 Bihar assembly elections.
After the highs of Bihar, Kishor was reportedly roped in by the Congress for elections to Uttar Pradesh and Punjab assemblies. In Punjab, he reportedly didn’t have much say as the campaign was in total control of Captain Amarinder Singh, who went on to become the CM of the state once again. In Uttar Pradesh, Kishor had little success in managing Rahul Gandhi’s campaign.
Interestingly, the news of Kishor talking to PM Modi comes after Nitish Kumar has broken the Grand Alliance of Bihar to once again rule the state along with BJP. Kishor is also considered close to the Bihar chief minister, whose relationship with PM Modi has grown stronger in the last few months. It is no longer driven by apparent political disgust. Was Kumar instrumental in Modi-Kishor talks? There is no confirmation on this but when Kumar has already joined hands with Modi, it was but obvious that Kishor may also seek to work with the PM.
Kishor is an expert in leadership branding, electoral strategies and giving inputs on ticket distribution. If he comes to the BJP camp, Kishor’s challenge will be bigger as he will be handling probably the biggest electoral brand – Modi- among the present crop of politicians.
For 2019, the Congress is also leaving no stone unturned. The party has not just revamped its social media strategy but also quietly worked in branding party president Rahul Gandhi as a leader who can replace Modi. Earlier media reports had said the Congress had hired Cambridge Analytica, a Big Data firm that helped US President Donald Trump win elections in 2016. This firm is also said to have influenced the Brexit votes in the UK and is much sought after by political parties across the country.