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Prashant Kishor gets new assignment —  to manage Arvind Kejriwal’s campaign for Delhi polls

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who is vice-president of JD(U), a BJP ally, has also signed up with the DMK for the 2021 Tamil Nadu polls.

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New Delhi: The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has roped in election strategist Prashant Kishor’s consultancy Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) to manage Aam Aadmi Party’s campaign ahead of the assembly polls early next year.

Announcing the development, Kejriwal tweeted Saturday morning: “Happy to share that @indianipac is coming on-board with us. Welcome aboard.”

I-PAC also tweeted from its handle, calling Kejriwal “toughest opponent”.

“After Punjab results, we acknowledged you as the toughest opponent that we have ever faced. Happy to join forces now with @ArvindKejriwal and @AamAadmiParty.”

Kishor is a vice-president of the BJP’s Bihar ally Janata Dal (United), and shot to fame by crafting Narendra Modi and the BJP’s successful Lok Sabha election campaign in 2014.

Sources had earlier told ThePrint that the AAP had been in talks with I-PAC for a while now.

ThePrint has also learnt that a team from I-PAC, headquartered in Hyderabad, had visited Delhi a fortnight ago and met Kejriwal to discuss strategies for the 2020 elections.

ThePrint had reported earlier this year that an AAP outreach team has been dissecting at least four successful poll campaigns that were helmed by Kishor.

These include PM Modi’s 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, Nitish Kumar’s chief ministerial bid in the 2015 Bihar assembly elections, Captain Amarinder’s campaign in the 2017 Punjab assembly polls and Y.S.R. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s 2019 assembly win in Andhra Pradesh.

Engagements with other parties

Kishor recently sealed a deal with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu to help the party in the 2021 assembly elections.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, which is locked in a battle with the BJP, has also consulted Kishor to frame its strategy for the 2021 assembly elections. The party’s victory in the three bypolls in Bengal last month is believed to have had assistance from I-PAC.

Kishor was also consulted by Shiv Sena’s Aaditya Thackeray in the Maharashtra assembly elections. Aaditya’s Jan Ashirwad Yatra was a key outreach plan devised by I-PAC.

However, it has not been all rosy — in 2017, the I-PAC was unable to carry the Congress to victory in the UP assembly elections, even though he engineered a tie-up with the Samajwadi Party. The Congress won just seven seats while the BJP romped home with 300-plus seats in the 403-member assembly.

Kishor has also faced criticism for holding the secrets of so many parties across the spectrum, and even campaigning against the BJP in the ongoing assembly polls in Jharkhand, where the JD(U) and the BJP are not allies.

Also read: Prashant Kishor tie-up with Mamata triggers talk about Nitish’s future as BJP ally


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