Bengal: Didi to rope in Prashant Kishor

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has signed on political strategist Prashant Kishor to scan Trinamool Congress’s 2019 Lok Sabha poll performance and work out a recovery strategy for the party, keeping in view the assembly elections in 2021. The Bengal CM hopes Kishor will be able to pull off a decisive victory for her in the assembly elections as he did for Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy in the Andhra Pradesh state polls.

Mamata had a meeting with Kishor at the state secretariat for an hour and a half on Thursday. His team I-PAC (Indian Political Action Committee) will arrive in Kolkata on Friday.

According to sources, Kishor will carve out ways to make the Trinamool government’s schemes popular among voters, and showcase popular initiatives online and offline to increase the party’s outreach to voters. Prior to this, I-PAC will undertake a constituency-wise analysis of the Lok Sabha poll results in an attempt to identify factors that went against Trinamool. Work on the part’s image building will begin thereafter. This may include interventions both in the real and virtual worlds — coining popular messages for government schemes, countering the rival offensive with memes and messages, and also drawing up direct contact programmes with voters.

Kishor cut his teeth in the political arena working for Narendra Modi when he was the Gujarat chief minister. His election strategy worked wonders in the 2012 Gujarat polls in which Modi was elected CM for the third time. Kishor and his team again worked for Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, following which Bihar CM Nitish Kumar roped him in to work for the mahagathbandhan in the 2015 assembly polls. Kishor later worked for Rahul Gandhi and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh in 2017.

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