Mamata ropes in master poll strategist Prashant Kishor
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met with poll whiz Prashant Kishor at Nabanna on Thursday afternoon, whose latest success is 'Project Jagan Mohan Reddy' in Andhra Pradesh.
After a reported two-hour meeting in Kolkata, Kishor signed up as the party's poll strategist for the Assembly elections scheduled to be held in 2021.
Kishor will kick off his assignment very soon and his primary job, as per party sources, will be to prepare a plan to counter the BJP which had bagged as many as 18 seats in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections with the ruling TMC winning 22 seats. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BJP could manage only two seats in the state while the TMC had won 34. In terms of 294 Assembly seats, the saffron party could manage lead in as many as 121 Assembly segments against the TMC's 164.
Sources in Nabanna informed that Kishor was taken to the Chief Minister's chamber at Nabanna by Abhishek Banerjee who is the president of All India Trinamool Youth Congress. According to party sources, the two deliberated over the causes of TMC's performance in the parliamentary polls and Kishor explained his readings seat by seat for Bengal.
It may be mentioned that TMC had sought the assistance of Kishor even in 2016 but the deal did not materialise due to the latter's reluctance. Kishor had then just bagged the Congress contract for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections at that time.
Kishor is credited with successfully organising the political campaigns for Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh. The YSR Congress won 22 out of 25 Lok Sabha seats and 151 out of 175 Assembly seats. The incumbent Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu's party was voted out of power in the parliamentary polls. It is learnt that after the convincing victory of Reddy, few more political parties in the state have been approaching Kishor for being their poll strategist.
Kishor is credited with handling Prime Minister Narendra Modi's poll campaign in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He joined Nitish Kumar and strategised the election campaign for his party during the 2015 Bihar Assembly elections. His venture to revive the Congress in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, however, was a flop.
Kishor had joined politics last year as the vice-president of Bihar's Janata Dal-United.