Prashant Kishor does not attend TMC Martyrs' Day rally

Prashant Kishor (PTI File Photo)

Despite speculations that poll strategist Prashant Kishor would attend the Trinamool Congress' Martyrs' Day rally on Sunday, he gave it a miss.

The media had been rife with speculations that Kishor, also a senior functionary of the BJP's alliance partner Janata Dal (United), would attend the rally.

"Prashant Kishor did not attend the rally. He was nowhere near the dias. It was media speculation (that he would attend the rally). There is not an iota of truth in it," said a senior TMC leader.

After the Lok Sabha polls in which the BJP has made major inroads in West Bengal, winning 18 of the 42 seats, only four less than the TMC, the ruling party in the state roped in Kishor last month.

It is quite unnatural for Kishor to attend a TMC's party programme as he is a national vice-president of the JD(U) which is in alliance with the BJP both at the state and national level, said TMC leaders.

Kishor had met the TMC supremo twice last month and Banerjee had claimed the poll strategist would be helping her party as a corporate social responsibility.

It was TMC MP and chief minister's nephew Abhishek Banerjee who played a key role in roping in Kishor.

According to sources in TMC and Kishor's organisation, the Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC), he would first study the ground situation across West Bengal before chalking out a strategy for the 2021 Assembly election in the state.

"He and his team at the IPAC have a way of functioning. They take at least two to three months to study the ground situation. They first diagnose the problem, then decide on the medicine and the mode of treatment. After that they start the actual treatment and wait for the results," a TMC leader said.

The Martyrs' Day rally is organised by the TMC every year on July 21 in the memory of 13 Youth Congress activists killed in police firing in 1993 during the Left Front regime in West Bengal. Banerjee was a leader of the Youth Congress at that time.

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