Electoral strategist Prashant Kishor has categorically denied reports that he accepted an offer from the Madhya Pradesh Congress to handle his campaign for the 24-seat assembly where midterm elections are to be held. Most of the seats became vacant when Jyotiraditya Scindia’s loyalists resigned after the high-ranking leader switched to the BJP.
“It was not only former Prime Minister Kamal Nath, but also the Prime Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, who approached me to take up the campaign for the next assembly elections. But I have not accepted and am not willing to take the Congress party’s work in pieces, pieces, “he told NDTV.
Kishor, who made a brilliant career debut as an election strategist with a successful campaign for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, parted ways with the party after differences with then-BJP chief Amit Shah.
He had managed the campaign for Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi earlier this year. On this occasion, Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi match had achieved a landslide victory, almost replicating its record 2015 results.
Kishor also enrolled with Mamata Banerjee from Bengal, who faces the BJP challenge in her state, and MK Stalin’s DMK in Tamil Nadu. Both states go to the polls next year and represent a more difficult task for the 43-year-old electoral strategist.
In the years between the BJP and the AAP, Mr. Kishor had written the successful campaigns of the Bihar Mahagathbandhan of Nitish Kumar, Congress, and the Rashtriya Janata Dal. He also made his political debut, joining and resigning from Janata Dal United of Nitish Kumar.
Last year, he was the campaign architect for Andhra Pradesh’s head of government, Jagan Mohan Reddy, for the state.
With Congress, Kishor’s connection has been uneven.
His first two bills with Congress, the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, had yielded very different results. Although the alliance between Congress and the Samajwadi Party had been decimated at the hands of the BJP, the party achieved a spectacular victory in Punjab. But Uttar Pradesh had been irritated and its relationship with the party had plummeted, sources said.
Congressional sources said Kishore prefers a broader, long-term commitment to the party, not working from state to state. “We are aware of their feelings. But that is a call that only top leaders can accept, not top ministers or former top ministers,” said a party source.