Poll strategist Prashant Kishor in Punjab to assess poll scene

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Feb 06, 2016 10:24 IST
Poll strategist Prashant Kishor.

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor, credited for scripting poll-winning strategies for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, on Friday visited Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh here.

Amarinder on Wednesday had said Prashant would visit the state for assessment of the ground situation in poll-bound Punjab. During their long discussion, Prashant and Amarinder deliberated on the party strategy for the 2017 state elections, including use of social media, door-to-door campaign and Amarinder’s ongoing interactions to counter the popularity of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) among young voters.

They also spoke on issues the Congress needs to highlight in the run-up to the polls, including boycott of the Khadoor Sahib bypoll by the Congress in protest against the sacrilege incidents.

This was the third meeting between Kishor and Amarinder; the two have earlier met in New Delhi after the latter’s appointment as the state party chief. Though Amarinder is keen to rope in Kishor for scripting a Congress victory in his last election, he has made it clear that the final decision would rest with party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, as Punjab goes to polls along with more “politically important” Uttar Pradesh. Once approved by Rahul, Kishor is likely to camp in Punjab from June-July.

Kishor also visited the social media war-room being set up by the party in Chandigarh and discussed Amarinder’s ongoing campaign to reach out to the youth. Congress sources said that other than Rahul’s final nod, his appointment as adviser to the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar would not be an issue as the Congress is an ally in Bihar CM’s grand alliance.

But Amarinder’s eagerness to engage Prashant has ruffled the feathers of many in the Congress, including senior leaders such as Partap Bajwa and Jagmeet Brar. Some also claim that the Punjab Congress chief is taking “unilateral” decisions based on Prashant’s advice keeping others out of the loop.

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