Every election season, campaigning throws up a certain constant: a polarising narrative (on the lines of samshan or kabarstan), netas switching sides and post the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the role of stragetist Prashant Kishor, or PK as he is popularly known, in ensuring victory for the winners.
Before we move onto Kishor’s role in the present round of elections, let’s just refresh our readers by recalling a tweet by noted journalist Barkha Dutt, moments after Arvind Kejriwal had won Delhi.
“If @ArvindKejriwal ran a deft smart campaign part of that credit must go to @PrashantKishor seen here right after the win. PK plus AK factor will be part of decoding the big #AAP win. Sidestepping Shaheen Bagh, the visible Hinduism were all part of the PK touch,” tweeted Dutt on February 11, 2020.
In the current round of Assembly elections, the modern day self proclaimed Chanakya doesn’t have a portfolio except his team I-PAC (Indian Political Action Committee) managing Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) campaign in Goa.
But with TMC’s prospects floundering, poached Congress leader Luizinho Faleiro refusing to contest the Goa polls and reports of TMC Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s growing annoyance with Kishor, there now seems to an attempt to alter the narrative.
In December last year, this was the tweet from Kishor’s team. “There is absolutely NO MERIT in the hugely speculative & unsubstantiated reporting regarding the difference of opinion or working relationship between TMC and @IndianPAC. Under the leadership of @MamataOfficial, we work as one team and will continue to collaborate in the future,”tweeted I-PAC.
Kishor followed up with a couple of interviews with well known TV Editors to underscore that he is not involved in Goa and only I-PAC was handling TMC’s foray in the State.
Now, after reports of a divide within the Banerjee household over Kishor, news portals are once again back with stories of “where will Prashant Kishor go?”
A latest commentary, quoting sources close to Kishor, claims that the strategist’s relationship with Mamata Banerjee is rock solid.
But interestingly the same piece also claimed that Kishor’s troubled relationship with the Congress could be a “pause” button and not necessarily a full stop.
The piece also suggests the poll results, especially how the Congress fares, could well determine not just the grand old party’s equation with other Opposition parties but also for Kishor.