BJP’s massive win in Assam casts spotlight on an unlikely campaigner whose use of modern communication methods and expertise in data-crunching helped the party craft a winning strategy in the border state.
The party’s maiden victory in the state has led to a comparison between Rajat Sethi (30), an IIT and Havard passout roped in by party general secretary Ram Madhav, and poll strategist Prashant Kishor.
Kishor is with JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar after being involved with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s successful Lok Sabha campaign in 2014. He has also been drafted by the Congress for Assembly elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh due next year.
Sethi has though tried to play down the significance of work done by him and his associate Shubhrastha, who had earlier worked with Kishor in the Citizens for Accountable Governance.
“Data crunchers have the capability to offer prescriptions based on numbers. But what about chemistry which works to translate prescriptions into suggestive reality?” they said today.
Noting that swayamsevaks (RSS volunteers) have done selfless service in tribal areas of the state to see this day, they asked, “Can professional data crunchers’ one time dashboard substitute these sacrifices?,”
It may be noted that Kishor fell out with BJP as the party leadership disapproved of attempts to project him as a central figure in Modi’s win and instead claimed his role was “peripheral”.
Sethi has also sought to underline his ideological association with the saffron camp.
Sethi said he was not a mercenary, an apparent swipe at Kishor whose camp has projected him as an apolitical professional, and asserted that he will never work for Congress.