Prashant Kishor, master poll strategist, is facing the toughest battle of his career in Bengal. He is advising the Trinamool Congress while the Bharatiya Janata Party is breathing down the latter’s neck.
The BJP has arrived in Bengal, which even Kishor admits.
He said in an interview to the Telegraph, “BJP is going to stay here for a long time, there is no mistake.” He acknowledged that the personal appeal of the BJP and Prime Minister Modi created a ‘formidable social alliance with subaltern castes, the Mishrammati Dharma’, and excluded sections of the non-Bengali electorate, but argued that the polarization of the electorate would allow the BJP at some distance Will take but no further.
However, he claims that the party cannot cross double digits in the state and will leave this place forever if the BJP manages to cross 100 seats. The BJP cannot win in Bengal, the reason being that its divisor is only 70% of the population, that is, non-Muslim.
To note, the BJP won the state election in Assam in 2016, where the divisor was only 65% (35% minority population). 2017 in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar recently in 2020 where the divisor was only 70% (30% Muslim-Yadav population).
Kishore came into the limelight when his organization- Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG) gave momentum to Narendra Modi’s election campaign. His ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ program was a hit setting new trends in election campaigns in India.
Many young professionals from top election institutions joined the CAG, who were associated with Modi and his development board in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, both of them divorced shortly after.
After Modi got a thumping majority, Kishore realized that he did not get proper credit, which was stolen by Modi’s right-hand man Amit Shah and the BJP’s IT cell team. In contrast, Amit Shah was angry that Kishore was taking credit for Modi’s victory.
Kishore then formed the IPAC (Indian Political Action Committee) and led the successful campaigns for Nitish Kumar (Bihar, 2015), Amarinder Singh (Punjab, 2017), Jagan Reddy (Andhra, 2019) and Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi, 2020). Managed. His unsuccessful tenure was with the Congress in Uttar Pradesh in 2017.
In the 2015 Bihar state elections, Kishore along with Nitish gave the BJP a fatal blow to take revenge by stopping the Modi-Shah fight.
What is Kishore’s contribution to Modi’s victory in 2014? This is a difficult question to answer. Could Modi have won without Kishore’s campaign? probably. Could BJP have won an absolute majority on its own without Kishore’s help? The BJP could have got a few fewer seats.
This also brings us to another plundering question: “Can good marketing sell a bad product?” Could Kishore campaign for Rahul Gandhi in 2014? The answer is clear.
It is said that he chooses the winners, deciding whom to work for, but this does not in any way snatch away his professional expertise. He has recently been appointed as the Chief Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of Bengal and TMC Supremo, approached Kishore after significant disruptions by the BJP in Bengal in the 2019 general elections. The BJP managed to revive the Left Front for a non-unit.
A Hindu awakening in the state, the BJP strongly threatened Didi to overthrow the Trinamool Congress government in the 2021 state elections, with Didi indulging in the politics of Did minority appeasement.
Under the supervision of Kishore, TMC has started an outreach program called Duar Sarkar, Para Samadhan, Swasti Sathi and Didi Ke Bolo Helpline. He advised Didi to reject tickets for up to 30% of the sitting MLAs in a bid to deny anti-incumbency.
This is not an easy choice for Kishore. Ten years of anti-incumbency, combined with accusations of severed money, corruption, dynastic politics and minority appeasement, seems to be working on the ground for the BJP.
A polarized environment has been created and it helps the BJP as we have seen in the past. Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have almost placed their reputation at stake. Modi is expected to organize 24 rallies / roadshows to cover all the districts.
Amit Shah is camping here for a week before the Phase 1 election. The BJP’s well-oiled machinery and RSS cadres are burning midnight oil to establish the first saffron government in the state.
The eight-phase election gives the BJP an opportunity to optimize its resources. With the elections under the supervision of the CRPF, the BJP feels that this is an opportunity as people can vote without any fear.
Kishore acknowledges the importance of this election in The Telegraph interview. The BJP can lose this election and still remain a strong All India Party, not others. This election will mean that India will maintain the vibrancy of multi-party democracy and become a one-nation, one-party state. How important is this election.
He forgets to add, even if the BJP loses but wins 100 or more seats, Kishore will have to leave the political consulting space forever as he has promised.
To sum up, Kishore joined the BJP on several occasions in the past. Can he do it again or will the BJP be able to win a victory like Uttar Pradesh and push them into oblivion?