Concerned over the rising popularity of BJP in Uttarakhand, Congress is looking to rope in poll strategist Prashant Kishor for the upcoming elections in the state despite a fallout in Uttar Pradesh.
According to party insiders, Kishor reportedly met chief minister Harish Rawat on Saturday night and the two are said to have discussed the Congress’s constituency-wise election strategy.
The move comes as Congress leaders raised concerns over “the rising popularity of BJP”, especially after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at Parade Ground here witnessed a massive turnout of an estimated 70,000 people last week.
Congress leaders were taken aback as they had expected the rally would be a flop show in the wake of demonetisation, which, according to them, had angered the people.
State Congress vice president Jot Singh Bisht tried to play it down, saying BJP had got “hired crowd” from Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh for the rally.
However, the party did not officially confirm or deny reports of Kishor meeting the chief minister.
“Discussions relating to poll strategy are part of a normal process during elections. There is nothing unusual about that when polls are around the corner,” Surendra Kumar, the chief minister’s media in-charge said.
Kishor, a public health expert by profession from Bihar, shot to limelight when his poll strategy helped the Modi-led BJP win a landslide victory in the 2014 parliamentary elections. A year later, he helped JD(U)’s incumbent CM Nitish Kumar register an impressive win in the Bihar elections.
Though Kishor was handpicked by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for the Uttar Pradesh and Punjab elections, he was said to be distanced by Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) owing to his proximity to veteran leader and former Delhi CM Sheila Dixit, who has since been sidelined.
“I have no knowledge about their stand,” Kumar said, when asked about the UP fallout.