The usually tight-lipped Prashant Kishor who is a former poll strategist and has recently joined Janata Dal United gave an interview recently to Republic TV. In the said interview, for the first time ever, Prashant Kishor opened up about campaigning for the BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha elections and for the Nitish-Lalu ‘Mahagathbandhan’ in the 2015 Bihar elections. He also answered a host of questions about his election strategy for the Congress party and Captain Amarinder Singh in the 2017 Punjab elections.
It has long been alleged that BJP had dumped Prashant Kishor after the resounding 2014 victory. Kishor denied these allegations and blamed his impatience for dissociating from the party. He attributed his exit from the party to BJP delaying the implementation of the lateral entry scheme where young professionals like him were to join the party.
While Kishor credits Modi for the huge victory in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he surprisingly blames himself for the disgraceful defeat of the Congress party in 2017 UP Assembly elections.
According to Kishor, Congress failed to implement the 14 modules of the campaign which were designed by him. He said that out of the 14 modules designed, Congress implemented only a few.
Interestingly, he said that Congress dropped the idea of contesting on its own and decided to form an alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP) only after the surgical strike that was conducted by the Indian Army. This surgical strike was in fact widely criticised by the Congress party and several functionaries of the party had even asked the BJP and the Indian Army to provide proof that such a strike had taken place.
Kishore also hinted at Rahul Gandhi being one of the reasons for Congress’ resounding loss. He asserted that had Priyanka Gandhi Vadra been allowed to be the face of the campaign in the 2017 UP Assembly elections, Congress would definitely have won more seats. He further revealed that projecting Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in the campaign was discussed at the highest level but it was not approved by the top leadership of the Congress.
When asked whether he would support Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections he said that he does not want to continue as a freelance strategist but he can support him as a JDU leader. When questioned about the probability of Modi becoming the Prime Minister for another term after the coming Lok Sabha elections, he replied that if elections were to held today, Modi is in a better position to win.
He also said that 100 seats for Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections is a ‘big ask’.