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Comedians, influencers, and ‘ideologically inclined news portals’: Digital ‘master plan’ of Prashant Kishor to push Congress to victory in 2024

Maybe Congress is looking at Prashant Kishor as the silver bullet to solve all their woes but his plan is just a rehash of Congress strategy since 2014

After yet another humbling defeat in the recently held assembly elections in 5 states, Congress seems to be turning towards poll strategist Prashant Kishor in a bid to turn their sinking electoral fortunes around. The celebrity poll strategist has previously worked with Congress on the disastrous campaign in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, and with Punjab Congress before abandoning them months ahead of their electoral drubbing. Now Congress seems to be turning towards him once again as they look set to induct him into the party.

Prashant Kishor recently gave a long presentation to Congress leadership outlining his plans to revive the party from its comatose state right now and push them to a strong showing in the next General Elections in 2024. One of the key focus areas suggested by Kishor in his presentation is the digital space, where Congress has always lagged behind the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) despite seemingly trying everything.

Congress lagging behind BJP in digital space

As per the action plan shared by Kishor with Congress leadership, the party needs to develop an unmatched network of digital influencers, supportive media, and a propagation mechanism. Kishor shared in his presentation that within the country’s digital consciousness, currently BJP & its leaders score vastly above Congress and its leaders. The poll strategist also lamented that traditional media is heavily ‘biased’ towards the ruling party and thus, Congress needs to develop its own media ‘ecosystem’.

Slide from Prashant Kishor’s presentation
Slide from Prashant Kishor’s presentation

Need for more influencers to push Congress propaganda as per Prashant Kishor

Blaming Congress for poor timing while utilizing its resources, Kishor has asked the party to bring digital influencers on board and use them for the party propaganda. As per Kishor’s master plan, Congress needs to do the following across social media platforms to beat BJP in the digital space.

  • Get big district-wise Facebook influencers on board with a minimum of 50,000 to 1 Lakh followers.
  • Utilize stand-up comedians and their YouTube channels for party propaganda.
  • Develop a country-wide network of Twitter influencers to run hashtags on Twitter.
  • Have a WhatsApp group in every village of the country.
Slide from Prashant Kishor’s presentation

Prashant Kishor also asked Congress to develop a network of “ideologically inclined” news portals to push the party propaganda using the digital space.

Giving targets to comedians and digital influencers

As part of this digital push, Kishor wants Congress to have 10 national news portals along with 5 to 6 news portals in every state. His plan includes asking 50 comedians to upload at least 1 video per week pushing Congress propaganda.

On Twitter, the plan mentions 500 influencers who will promote one Twitter trend every day in all Indian states. For Facebook, Kishor mentions 4 Facebook influencers from each district of the country with each one of them having 50,000 to 1 Lakh followers.

Slide from Prashant Kishor’s presentation

Apart from this, Kishor has also suggested stringers in every Parliamentary and Assembly constituency who can create video content pushing the Congress agenda and share it on Instagram (or Tiktok if available).

Prashant Kishor has also listed the targets for likes per social media page, the number of people in every Whatsapp group, number of YouTube channels dedicated to Congress propaganda.

Slide from Prashant Kishor’s presentation

The flaw in master strategist Prashant Kishor’s plan

The one minor flaw in Prashant Kishor’s plan is that it has already been executed, and Narendra Modi still keeps beating Congress, comfortably. There is a whole battery of Lutyens journalists to prop Rahul Gandhi up as the great Indian saviour, there are hundreds of influencers pushing Congress propaganda, and 99% of Indian comedians tried to push Congress propaganda ahead of 2019 elections and it all came to nought.

India Today has been publishing Rahul Gandhi 2.0 for a couple of decades, and very surprisingly, even that has not worked. Maybe it will work if Congress pays several Crores to Prashant Kishor.

Just to recall, one time Congress hired Prashant Kishor full-time, BJP recorded its biggest high with an absolute sweep of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most important electoral state. Captain Amarinder Singh as Congress CM of Punjab hired Prashant Kishor, now Captain is electorally irrelevant for the first time in his life and Congress suffered a humiliating defeat in Punjab.

Maybe Congress is looking at Kishor as the silver bullet to solve all their woes, but for the common Indians, Congress has nothing to offer except to remind people how Nehru took freedom of speech away, Indira imposed an emergency, and Rajiv executed the Bofors scam.

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Amit Kelkar
Amit Kelkar
a Pune based IT professional with keen interest in politics

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