Know the politics behind Prashant Kishor’s brave claim
Political strategist Prashant Kishor sparked a debate on 21st December when he said that he will quit working as a political strategist if BJP wins more than 99 seats in the upcoming Bengal Election. Currently associated with Mamta Banerjee’s West Bengal based TMC, he predicted a defeat for BJP in the West Bengal Assembly Elections in May 2021.
He wrote, “For all the hype AMPLIFIED by a section of supportive media, in reality BJP will struggle to CROSS DOUBLE DIGITS in West Bengal,” on Twitter and added that he would “quit this space” if proven wrong.
For all the hype AMPLIFIED by a section of supportive media, in reality BJP will struggle to CROSS DOUBLE DIGITS in #WestBengal
PS: Please save this tweet and if BJP does any better I must quit this space!
— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) December 21, 2020
Responding to Kishor’s tweet, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, the party’s pointsman in the state, took a swipe at Kishor, saying the country will end up losing a poll strategist after the West Bengal election
Amit Shah, known as the Chanakya of politics and credited as the architect of the BJP’s resurgence in West Bengal, had asserted that BJP will win more than 200 seats in the upcoming West Bengal polls.
Prashant Kishor’s tweet came two days after several leaders, including TMC heavyweight Suvendhu Adhikari joined the Bhartiya Janata Party in the presence of Amit Shah’s visit to the state on December 19. Several leaders from the Mamata Banerjee’s TMC, Congress and Left parties joined the BJP ahead of the assembly elections slated for 2021.
Prashant has also been trying to do a makeover of the TMC party and Mamata Banerjee in the Delhi media by giving interviews. He has countered the questions of Journalists in such a way that it has benefitted Mamata Banerjee who was being called a helpless and weak opponent for BJP’s huge political army.
BJP seeks to end the nearly decade-long rule of Mamata Banerjee in the state in the upcoming assembly elections scheduled to be held next year. West Bengal is one state where BJP has been trying to increase the foothold in the last few years. The saffron party had won 18 new Lok Sabha seats of the 42 seats and emerged as the clear opposition to the TMC government in 2019 general election.
Prashant’s previous affiliations
Prashant Kishor first came to the scene when he helped Narendra Modi in the 2011 elections in Gujrat. Later his campaign group called the Citizens for Accountable Governance led BJP and Narendra Modi in the 2014 general election to an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha elections.
In 2015, he joined hands with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of Janata Dal-United and helped Mahagathbandhan win the assembly elections. Later he was roped in by Congress to handle Punjab and Uttar Pradesh elections. While he won the elections for Congress in Punjab, 2017 Uttar Pradesh election was a big setback. He went on to help Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh and Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi to win the Assembly elections in their respective states. Meanwhile, he entered mainstream politics by joining Nitish Kumar’s JDU and was appointed as the vice-president of the party. However, ahead of the election, he was expelled from the ruling party of Bihar for “indiscipline” in January this year.
Prashant’s ‘Outsider’ narrative
Prashant Kishor is considered more than able political strategist whose success percentage speaks volume about his election planning and strategy. In the 2015 Bihar Assembly elections, he coined a term “Outsider vs Insider” in which PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah were called outsiders and Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav were called insiders. The same “Outsider vs Insider” way of politics has returned in the Bengal election and the duo of Modi and Shah are being called outsiders again. This strategy had helped Kishor in the Bihar election. It remains to be seen if the same strategy works in the Bengal election too.
Countering the ‘Outsiders” narrative, Amit Shah said that BJP’s CM candidate in the assembly polls will be someone from West Bengal and not an “outsider”. Shah had attacked Mamata Banerjee and the ‘outsider’ narrative saying that “Does she want a country where people are free to visit one state to other. Did she call Pranab Mukherjee, Indira Gandhi, Narsimha Rao outsiders when they used to come here?” He added that no one from Delhi will defeat the West Bengal CM, but it would be a Bengali who will challenge her to be the next CM of the West Bengal.
By looking at the increasing foothold of BJP in the state, Mamata Banerjee has decided to hold more than 600 meetings and rallies. As per the sources, she is making efforts to hold a joint rally of anti-BJP leaders in Kolkata in January 2021. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, Stalin and other regional leaders might be called to the rally.
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