3 years

Open Minds 2016: Public Square

Prashant Kishor: Spin and Win

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The country's favourite poll meister, he is an assiduous kingmaker who does not waste his pawns

He can catch a partisan drift before anyone can say ‘rough weather’. Cast aside by the BJP, despite—or was it because of—the roaring success of his campaign for Narendra Modi in the 2014 General Election, the master strategist moved to Bihar for Nitish Kumar’s benefit, and it cost the BJP dearly. For this was also a drama of revenge, and Kishor and his battalion of data crunchers would script an easy victory for Kumar’s social coalition. Kishor, who had by then swapped his T-shirt and jeans for a politician’s white kurta-pyjama, has since become the Midas of the war room. His reputation as an assiduous kingmaker who does not waste his pawns has landed him his next assignment in the Congress fold, where he will helm the campaign for Uttar Pradesh 2017—his biggest challenge yet. It is going to be a long and brutal war of ideas for the country’s favourite poll meister.

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