A year and a half after his role as the NDA's poll strategist earned him accolades, Prashant Kishor has made a huge jump to the other side of the political divide.
The political strategist will steer the Congress' campaign during the crucial 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, according to a report in Economic Times. The move assumes significance as the UP assembly elections will possibly be the most-watched state polls, as it is the state which has by far the most Lok Sabha constituencies (80), and is an indicator of the political mood in the country in general.
Prashant Kishor has confirmed the development, as per a report in The Times of India.
Kishor had seen his second major success after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when the Grand Alliance led by Nitish Kumar swept the Bihar polls last year. Kishor had drafted the poll campaign for the alliance, in an election in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had campaigned extensively for the NDA alliance.
Earlier this month, reports had also stated that he would work for the Congress in Punjab, which will also go to the polls in 2017. The Congress which has been out of power for the last nine years after been defeated twice at the hustings by ruling Akali-BJP combine, is seeking to wrest power again.
Kishor and the Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG), an election-campaign group he conceptualised, helped the Narendra Modi-led BJP win an absolute majority in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
In 2015, Kishor and some members of CAG regrouped as and started the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) and started working for the 2015 Bihar assembly election.
Working closely with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, he helped Kumar's "Grand Alliance" win the elections.
According to The Times of India report, Kishor will also be leading the Congress poll strategy in PM Modi's home turf of Gujarat. The elections in Gujarat, where the BJP has been in power since the early 1990s, will perhaps be the toughest test for him. In any case, after two major successful election campaigns, it seems parties across the spectrum want a slice of his strategy.
With inputs from PTI