Poll expert Prashant Kishor's achhe din over?

Poll expert Prashant Kishor's achhe din over?

Poll expert Prashant Kishor's achhe din over?

Has poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who helped arch rivals Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar sink their differences and romp home in the 2015 Bihar Assembly poll, lost his Midas touch?

The Congress’ severe drubbing in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand has put a question mark on Kishor’s ability, capability and credibility, with many in the grand old party baying for his blood.

Kishor, who shot into the limelight after scripting the ‘chai pe charcha’ poll campaign for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and eventually helping him score a landslide victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, has miserably failed in his third assignment.

Many of his supporters, however, argue that working for the Congress’ revival in Uttar Pradesh was an uphill task. Besides, Kishor himself has conceded that he was not given a free hand as he had with Modi (2014) and Nitish (2015).

Born in Bihar’s Bhojpur district, PK, as he is fondly known, is currently adviser to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and looks after planning and programme implementation in Bihar, and enjoys a Cabinet rank.

The BJP-led Opposition, particularly former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, wondered how a person, enjoying pay and perks from the Nitish regime, was allowed to work for the Congress’ revival in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand.

“Success has many fathers. Failure has none. In the coming days, more accusing fingers will be pointed at PK as well as Nitish, as to under which rule the chief minister allowed Kishor to remain absent from the state for so long and draw strategies for the Congress in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh,” a political commentator told DH.

Kishor, who is likely to be made a scapegoat for the Congress’ drubbing, apparently failed to read that in his two previous assignments, he had two regional satraps — Modi and Nitish. In Bihar, he helped prevent the division of the anti-BJP votes, but he could not do so in Uttar Pradesh where the Muslim votes were divided even though the minority community is numerically stronger in Uttar Pradesh.

According to PK, the top Congress leadership did not accept his suggestion to declare Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the chief ministerial candidate. When a vernacular daily asked PK whether he lost the battle midway after Priyanka refused to be declared the chief ministerial nominee, he said, “There is no point in crying over spilt milk.” “PK was always an overrated person. Narendra Modi’s spectacular victory in 2014 was the result of NaMo’s personal charisma and tireless effort, and meticulous planning by (BJP president) Amit Shah. But PK got undue credit. Similarly, working for Nitish in 2015... it was actually Lalu’s vote base that turned the tide in Nitish’s favour. But still PK won accolades. As a poll strategist, his skills stand exposed today,” said Sushil.