After Andhra Pradesh, Prashant Kishor might play a key role in West Bengal. West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Thursday had a two-hour-long meeting with the poll strategist in Kolkata.
Kishor has reportedly agreed to work with her, said sources.
The two met on Thursday in Kolkata and after the meeting sources confirmed that Banerjee has signed up his services. Kishor is being credited with much of YSR Congress’s victory with an overwhelming majority and the humiliating defeat of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu.
Kishor’s organisation worked with YSR chief Jaganmohan Reddy for two years, effectively scripting his victory.
This strategic scripting of electoral contest, TMC sources added, marked a clear departure for Banerjee. So far, it was Banerjee who propelled her party to successive victories. “But politics has changed and she (Mamata) has realised that. It is not enough to know your state, know your issues and know the people. When data is being used by parties, all your knowledge means very little,” said a party leader.
The meeting between Banerjee and Kishor in Kolkata assumes special significance given the rise of the BJP in Bengal and the political threat that its rise poses for her.
“The fact that the BJP won 18 seats in the Lok Sabha polls, many of them with a margin of less than 1% makes it very clear that traditional form of street politics that has dominated Bengal is no longer going to be enough,” the TMC leader added.
That Banerjee is smarting from the election results is obvious from her continuous attacks on the BJP. In a press conference after the results, Banerjee attacked the BJP for pumping money into the elections and added, “Mamata will remain Mamata.”
Known as the 'Chanakya of Indian politics', Kishor has multiple electoral victories to his credit. He has worked for both, the BJP and the Congress.
Kishor's first major campaign was in 2011 when he strategised the victory of Narendra Modi in Gujarat for a third term. However, he gained wider attention when he helped Modi and the BJP to victory in the 2014 general elections.
Since 2014, Kishor has helped elect to power Nitish Kumar in Bihar and Amarinder Singh in Punjab.