Author: Aishwarya S
Date: March 14, 2017
This man’s name became famous after the BJP won the Lok Sabha elections 2014. The entire media claimed that he was the main social media strategist of Narendra Modi in 2014 and credited him for Modi’s win.
But just after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Prashanth Kishore came out of BJP following a spat between him and Amit Shah. Mr Kishore then joined Nitish Kumar’s camp during the Bihar elections in 2015 and helped them form Magaghatbandan with the alliance of JDU, RJD and Congress. The Mahaghatbandhan was successfully able to defeat BJP in the Bihar Assembly elections 2015. This gave a big boost to Prashanth Kishore’s BRAND and people believed that he was a master strategist.
But the big test for him was in UP which is considered as the mother of all battles, the largest state with big National implications. Prashanth Kishore’s real ability was put to test in this very election. But what we saw was a complete decimation of all parties in the NAMO WAVE!
It was Prashant Kishore’s idea to form the Mahaghat bandhan in UP also, he decided to make alliance between Congress and SP to repeat the Bihar model. However the alliance failed to create any magic Kishore was expecting and many within the SP feared that the negative publicity of Rahul Gandhi will impact SP as well. However Akhilesh was not confident of winning the elections against Modi all alone, so it was more of a compromise model to save each other from facing rout. But nothing could stop PM Modi this time.
So what went wrong with Prashant Kishore’s strategy?
First of all, let us come out of the idea that Prashant Kishore is a political strategist and he shaped Namo’s poll strategy in 2014. The fact is every idea and strategy was made by Namo’s team and he was the chief campaign committee head and election strategist for 2014 elections. The Chai Pe charcha idea was not Prashanth Kishore’s but was suggested by Modi’s team.
Secondly, the 2014 elections was fought in the name of Modi and his extreme popularity. So Prashant Kishore’s role as a strategist was very minimal and his role as an event manager was more apparent. But political pundits depicted him as a political strategist and created hype and gave maximum publicity.
Coming to Bihar, Nitish Kumar was already popular in Bihar, he was the first preferred candidate for the CM post. His work along with BJP govt had brought significant development in the state of Bihar. All Prashant Kishore had to do was to consolidate the votes in favour of Nitish Kumar and Ghatbandhan which would make it difficult for BJP to fight against a huge alliance. The results exactly showed that although BJP increased its vote share, they weren’t able to get numbers because of the alliance.
So now what was the so called big role Prashant Kishore played….uniting all opposition???
But in UP he miserably failed since neither Akhilesh Yadav nor Rahul Gandhi were credible faces, Akhilesh had brought no development unlike Bihar. So there was no strategy or model Prashant Kishore could project in the name of SP-Congress alliance.
Another factor was, Kishore was not given free hand in Congress. His idea to replace Rahul Gandhi with Priyanka Gandhi was not well received by Rahul’s supporters. A section in the Uttar Pradesh Congress complained to the Congress high command criticizing Kishor’s “unsolicited interference” and “autocratic style of functioning” in organizational manners, citing Kishor’s “unilateral decision” to summon meetings among party office bearers.
Kishor’s meeting with Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav angered UP Congress Raj Babbar, who had always been at loggerheads with Kishor. In Punjab, Kishor had angered Captain Amarinder Singh by setting up meetings with expelled leaders Bir Devinder and Jagmeet Singh Brar.
He introduced Khat Pe Charcha which ultimately became a laughing model. So there was nothing Prashant Kishore could do or was given a chance to do.
He only tagged himself with the winning horse earlier and claimed he was responsible, but truly his role as a strategist is very minimal in both 2014 Lok Sabha and 2015 Bihar elections. One thing what we realise with the UP verdict is that LUCK favours you only sometimes, but not always. Ultimately it is only the people who work hard wins!