Poll strategist turned politician Prashant Kishor today hit back at BJP leader Hardeep Puri, for his “Who is Prashant Kishor? I don’t know him” comment. In a subtle reply Kishor said, “Why would such a big leader know an ordinary man like me,” as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had roped him for “image makeover” as Delhi is set to go to the polls next year.
Prashant Kishor is credited for formulating the election strategy for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 elections but the Union Urban Housing Minister played down the impact of I-PAC on Delhi’s polls. On Friday while talking to reporters Puri said, “Who is Prashant Kishor, I don’t know him. There is a chap who used to work in UN, then he joined one party, then another party and then another party.”
To this the 42-year-old leader Kishor replied, “He is a tall leader of the country and a union minister. Why will he know an ordinary man like me? Over 50 lakh people like me from UP and Bihar leave and struggle to make a space for themselves in Delhi. How will such a senior leader like Puri ji know so many people,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
He further said, “I know him because some of the works of his department are relevant in the Assembly elections in Delhi.”
These days Kishor has been quite vocal against the NRC and CAA as well. Kishor had publically criticized party’s support to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, had a closed-door meeting with JD (U) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Patna on December 15 where he offered to resign. However, Kumar turned down the offer and later JD(U) chief said he will not implement NRC in Bihar.
He, however, said the amended Citizenship Act was, per se, not a “major cause for worry” but it could be problematic in combination with the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Kishor had been active on Twitter and posted many tweets over the issue. On December 26 Kishor tweeted, “The claim of that at the moment no discussion about NRC has taken place, is nothing but tactical retreat in the face of nationwide protest against CAA, NRC. It is a pause and not the fill stop. Govt could wait till SC judgement on CAA. A favourable court order and the whole process will be back.”
The JD (U) leader Kishor’s consultancy firm I-PAC has come on board with the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for Delhi Assembly Elections 2020.
Currently, I-PAC is working on the Trinamool Congress’ re-election campaign for the 2021 West Bengal Assembly election. After facing a stiff challenge from the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, Mamata Banerjee had engaged the poll planner to halt the BJP’s growing influence in Bengal ahead of the crucial state election.
The much-vaunted “chai pe charcha” (chat over tea) of PM Modi during 2014 Election campaigns and 3D hologram rallies were said to be Kishor’s brainchild.
He subsequently ran successful campaigns for JD(U) in 2015 Bihar elections and for Congress in 2017 Punjab polls. His wrote a successful story in Punjab in helping the Congress come back to power after two successive electoral losses.
Janata Dal-United (JD-U) national Vice President Prashant Kishor has also been instrumental in YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s big victory in Andhra defeating TDP chief and former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.