The Aam Aadmi Party, first off the block to begin its Assembly election campaign due in Delhi early next year, got a shot in the arm today with the news that poll strategist Prashant Kishor would join its propaganda. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal shared this information on Twitter.
Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia quoted Kejriwal’s tweet and borrowed from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign, saying, “Ab ki baar 67 paar (let’s win more than 67 seats this time)”. The AAP had won 67 seats in the 2015 Delhi election.
In fact, Sisodia’s slogan could be a coinage by Prashant Kishor, who is known to customise his previous campaigns to suit his latest clients. For example, copying from his campaign of 2014 for the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate “Ab ki baar Modi sarkar” (let’s have a Modi government this time), he had campaigned in Bihar four years ago for the JD(U)-RJD mahagathbandhan with an altered message “Ab ki baar Nitishe Kumar (‘this time, let’s repeat Nitish Kumar,’ written in Bihari Hindi)”.
Kejriwal, the convenor of AAP, wrote he was happy to announce that Prashant Kishor’s company would campaign for his party.
The name of the company seen in the tweet above is the Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC), originally called just PAC, an organisation of Prashant Kishor, an election management firm.
Prashant Kishor is projected by a large section of the mainstream media as one of the topmost election strategists in the country although all his campaigns did not succeed in ensuring his respective clients’ victory. After the BJP in 2014 and the JD(U) in 2015, he worked for the INC in the Punjab Assembly election and succeeded again. But he could not make the INC create even a buzz in the Uttar Pradesh election of 2017. His next successful campaign was for an image makeover of YS Jaganmohan Reddy. His company works for Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress as well but it is unable to stop BJP’s rise in West Bengal.
However, when the BJP lost the Bihar election, many had attributed its estrangement with Prashant Kishor as one of the factors.
IPAC has shared the information about campaigning for the AAP, too. IPAC tagged Arvind Kejriwal on his Twitter account, writing, “After Punjab results, we acknowledged you as the toughest opponent that we have ever faced. Happy to join forces now with @ArvindKejriwal and @AamAadmiParty.”
Prashant Kishor has decided to join the Aam Aadmi Party’s election campaign at a time when his working relationship with the JD(U) is reported to be strained, with Nitish Kumar’s party saying he is free to decide whether he would stay in the party or leave. Party leaders have come out openly against Prashant Kishor, alleging he has been showing a rebellious attitude towards them for some time.
JD(U) general secretary RCP Singh bluntly said, “If Prashant Kishore wants to leave the party, he is free to do so.” Singh taunted that Kishor had anyway been included in the party on compassionate grounds. Meanwhile, Prashant Kishor is scheduled to meet JD(U) chief and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday.