On August 5, political strategist Prashant Kishor resigned from the post of Principal Advisor of Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, for the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections. According to news agency ANI, Kishor said in his resignation letter that in view of his decision to take a temporary break from an active role in public life, he would not be able to take over the responsibilities as Singh’s Principal Advisor.
In view of my decision to take a temporary break from active role in public life, I’ve not been able to take over the responsibilities as your Principal Advisor. I request you to kindly relieve me from this responsibility: Prashant Kishor to Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh— ANI (@ANI) August 5, 2021
In March 2021, Kishor was appointed as the Principal Advisor to CM Singh. Taking to Twitter, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had said, “Happy to share that Prashant Kishor has joined me as my Principal Advisor. Look forward to working together for the betterment of the people of Punjab”. He was given powers similar to a cabinet minister. Reportedly, in May 2021 the Supreme Court has sought a response from the State Congress government in Punjab in connection with a petition challenging the appointment of poll strategist Prashant Kishor as principal adviser (cabinet rank) to chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
In the petition filed against his appointment at Cabinet Minister level, it was said, “Had proper procedure been followed, more qualified and suitable persons could have been available. The appointment has been made in a clandestine and cloistered manner causing loss to millions of aspirants,” the petitioner added, furthering that article 16(1) of the Constitution provides that there shall be equal opportunity to all citizens in employment or appointment to any office under the state.
Speculations of a bigger role in the party
On August 4, it was reported that Kishor had sought a special advisory panel for decisions in Congress and national role for himself. Times of India had quoted a source from the Congress party that he had asked for a committee under the chairpersonship of Sonia Gandhi to take political decisions, including strategic alliances and campaigns. A senior leader had told TOI, “He wants a national role and is not hooked on the usual sought-after designations like AICC general secretary.”
Recently, Kishor’s work made a buzz after Trinamool Congress won the state assembly elections in West Bengal. He had helped the Mamata Banerjee-led party to win against the BJP and become CM for the third time in a row. While campaigns and elections were going on in West Bengal, he had accepted the offer of Congress to become Principal Advisor to the Punjab CM. However, later he had announced taking a break from the active public life.