Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The new Poster Boy of Congress

Social Media is abuzz about a man called Prashant Kishore. When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the leadership of Narendra Modi got the historic mandate in Lok Sabha election, Prashant Kishore was given the title of master strategist. At that point of time, political pundits called him Chanakya of Narendra Modi. But, things went wrong after the victory and Narendra Modi and Prashant Kishore parted ways. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar saw an opportunity and immediately contacted Prashant Kishore and signed him for the forthcoming Bihar assembly election. 
Now, the historic win of Mahagathbandhan in Bihar has made Prashant Kishore a most sought after commodity in Politics. And the rule of market is that each and every investor wants to invest in that commodity. Those large investors also invest in that commodity to get profit. Same is the case in Politics. Now, every political party wants to invest in that commodity named ‘Prashant Kishore’.
Nowadays, there is much noise on Nationalism and Sedition. Each and every political party is preaching Nationalism as per their convenience. In this scenario of fierce political debate, Congress has invested in Prashant Kishore. Congress has assigned him Punjab, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. But, in the political corridor, speculation is rife that Prashant Kishore will be signed till 2019 Lok sabha election.  This will depend on the results of Punjab, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. Those who knows Congress culture think that it’s very difficult for Prashant Kishore to play a long innings with the party.  
Prashant Kishore has started making strategy for Congress in Uttar Pradesh assembly election slated in first half of 2017. Prashant has already met senior leaders of Congress and is planning to meet the district level leaders of party in the coming days. Political Pundits are underlining this as a major political coup by Congress. But this is the biggest challenge for Kishore because when he was part of the Modi campaign. Scam after scam and the policy paralysis made UPA Govt hated by many. Anti incumbency was clear. Prashant Kishore turned the table in favour of Modi by projecting him as leader with a strong will. The result is known to everybody.
When Prashant came to Nistish camp, he played a masterstroke. It is widely believed that he was the person who made Nitish agree to have an alliance with Lalu Yadav’s RJD. It was Prashant Kishore who made Nitish agree to shun more than 25 sitting seats in favour of RJD. It was considered the most accurate political move keeping in mind the cast equation of the state. PK placed Lalu-Nitish duo against Narendra Modi. Prashant Kishore Placed Nitish kumar as Bihari Pride. Bihari Vs Bahri paid the dividend.
But the assignment of Uttar Pradesh is entirely different from the last two assignment of this celebrity pollster. Congress in Uttar Pradesh in its worst phase. When the party won 21 LS seats in Uttar Pradesh, it was said that Rahul Gandhi revived the party. At that time Congress got almost 18 percent vote share. But Congress fared very badly in assembly and parliamentary elections. Rahul Gandhi worked very hard and spent many days and night is 2012 assembly election but Congress mustered only 12 percent vote share.
After two years, came the Parliamentary election and vote share of congress furtherr gone down to seven and half percent.  Only Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi were able to won the election from Uttar Pradesh. This was the worst ever performance of congress party in Uttar Pradesh. Even in the election held after emergency, Congress got twenty five percent vote without winning a single seat. After 2014 election, the morale of congress workers at its lowest ebb.
Now, Congress has given the baton to Prashant Kishore for its revival and strengthening. After Prashant Kishore took over the responsibility it was reported in media that Priyanka Gandhi may be the face of Congress in Uttar Pradesh. But till now this is not more than a political gossip. The strategists of Congress felt that since Prashant Kishore has worked with Narendra Modi for long time, so he could make out the weak point of Prime Minister and could be successful in countering him. Now, if you see the history of Congress and its mass leaders, it’s very hard to digest that now the grand old party is banking on a pollster to revive its fortune in a state. Congress was known for the mass leaders who attract voters. Those mass leaders were backbone of the but now the party is lacking those type of leaders. There are historic reasons for this.

It is a fact that Prashant Kishore has written a success story with Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar but at the same time it is also felt that for writing a success story, Prashant Kishore needs a Modi or a Nitish. In UP, congress has no Modi or no Nitish Kumar, although Prashnat Kishore has started the search of Modi or Nitish like leader in congress. It will be very interesting to see the strategy of Prashant Kishore in Uttar Pradesh for 2017 assembly election, because it is widely believed that Congress leaders are not in favor of any alliance either with Mayawati or Mulayam Singh Yadav. 

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