Prashant Kishor

Prashant Kishor
Born/Date of Birthday: 1977
Place of Birth: Koran, Sasaram, Bihar, India
Occupation: Political Strategist and Tactician
Nationality: Indian
Spouse: Jahnavi Das
Parents: Shrikant Pandey
Political party: Janata Dal (United)(2018–2020)
Official Website: indianpac.com

Prashant Kishor is an Indian political strategist and tactician. A public health expert by training, who worked with the United Nations for eight years before venturing into Indian politics and working as a political strategist.

Kishor has worked as a political strategist for BJP to gain his knowledge then he worked for the BJP, JD(U), INC, AAP, YSRCP, DMK and TMC. His first major political campaign was in 2011 to help Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat get re-elected to the CM Office for a third time in the Gujarat Assembly Elections 2012. However, he came to wider public attention when Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG), an election-campaign group he conceptualised, helped the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win an absolute majority in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

Personal life and career
Prashant Kishor is from the Koran village, Sasaram of Rohtas district but shifted to Buxar in Bihar. There, Kishor completed his secondary education.

Reportedly working pro bono, and without holding any office in the BJP or Gujarat Government, Kishor was employed as a political strategist for BJP's pre-election campaign. He was employed as the political strategist of Janata Dal (United) political party on 16 September 2018.

CAG and the 2014 general-election campaign
In 2013, Kishor created Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG), a media and publicity company in preparation for the May 2014 general election of India.

Kishor was credited with formulating an innovative marketing & advertising campaign for Narendra Modi— the Chai pe Charcha discussions, 3D rallies, Run for Unity, Manthan and social media programmes.   

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, author of 'Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times' said Kishor was one of the most important people in Modi's team driving strategies for months before 2014 elections.

Kishor parted ways with Modi, converted the (CAG) into a specialist policy outfit, Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC).

I-PAC and the 2015 Bihar Assembly election campaign
In 2015, Kishor and other CAG members regrouped as I-PAC to work with Nitish Kumar, in a bid to win a third term as Chief Minister of Bihar in Assembly Elections. The claims were that Kishor dramatically influenced the strategy, resources and alliances for the campaign.

I-PAC, named after the US based lobbying groups which are designated as PAC designed a cycle carrying the message of the CM's seven commitments, with the slogan “Nitish ke Nishchay: vikas ki guarantee" (Nitish's vow: development guaranteed).

Upon winning the Bihar elections, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar named Kishor as his advisor for planning and programme implementation, with a brief look for ways to implement the seven-point agenda that was promised during Kumar's election campaign.

Punjab Assembly Election 2017
In 2016 Kishor was hired by the Congress for Punjab Assembly Elections due in 2017 to help Amarinder Singh's campaign in Punjab after losing two consecutive Assembly elections for the Congress.

This win in Punjab has been credited by TV channels like Zee News to Kishor and his team. Several Congress leaders like Randeep Surjewala and Shankersinh Vaghela came on record to openly credit Kishor with the win. Singh tweeted, "As I have said many times before, PK & his team and their work was absolutely critical to our victory in Punjab!".

Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election 2017
In 2016 Congress employed Kishor for the 2017 UP Elections. However, these elections were a failure for the Congress and Kishor as BJP won more than 300+ seats and Congress could only manage 7 seats.

Kishor's decision to side with the Congress in UP was deemed ill-advised by analysts and politicians alike for the party had been out of power in the state for 27 years.

It was alleged that Kishor faced difficulty in getting his ideas and suggestions implemented and him and his organisation, at best, were supporting the campaign from the sidelines. Sankarshan Thakur in the Telegraph said, “It was never the party, mind you, that wooed, or even wanted, Kishor; it was always the party’s first family. And that might be central to why the going for Kishor has been so uncertain, unproductive, unnerving."

Andhra Pradesh Assembly Elections 2019
Kishor was appointed as political advisor to Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy in May 2017. I-PAC designed and executed a series of electoral campaigns for YSRCP like 'Samara Sankharavam", "Anna Pilupu", and the "Praja Sankalpa Yatra" in an attempt to change the image of YSRCP. YSRCP won with a large majority of 151 seats out of 175 seats.

Delhi Assembly Elections 2020
Kishor was the election strategist for Aam Aadmi Party in 2020 Delhi Legislative Assembly election. Aam Aadmi Party managed to win with a sweeping majority of 62 out of 70 seats in the elections.

Bihar Elections 2020
In February 2020, leaders of opposition Jitan Ram Manjhi, Upendra Kushwaha and Mukesh Sahni met Kishor in Delhi ahead of 2020 Bihar Legislative Assembly election to be held in October–November. However, Kishor announced that he would not support any party, but will reach out to 10 lakh youths in 100 days to support his Baat Bihar Ki campaign which is aimed at making Bihar one of the 10 best states in the country.

West Bengal Elections 2021
Kishor was appointed as an advisor of All India Trinamool Congress for the 2021 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election. His astute strategy helped the All India Trinamool Congress to a landslide victory in 213 seats out of 294 seats contested, and again form the government. He had predicted beforehand and challenged that All India Trinamool Congress under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee would be forming government with 200+ seats.

Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections 2021
DMK chief M. K. Stalin announced on 3 February 2020 that Kishor was signed up as a party strategist for the upcoming 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election.

Subsequently, DMK won the election with 159 seats and M.K.Stalin became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the first time.

Punjab Elections 2022
In March 2021, Kishor was appointed as the principal advisor to Amarinder Singh. He has been given the status equivalent to a Cabinet Minister.

On 5 August 2021, Kishore resigned as Principal Advisor to the Punjab Chief Minister.

Retirement from Political Strategy
After the win of the AITC in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly Elections and DMK in 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections, he declared that he was quitting as an election strategist. In an interview with NDTV on 2 May 2021, Kishor told anchor Sreenivasan Jain on live TV, "I do not want to continue what I am doing. I have done enough. Time for me to take a break and do something else in life. I want to quit this space."


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Categories: 1977 births, Campaign managers, 2014 Indian general election, People from Bihar, UNICEF people, Indian officials of the United Nations, Janata Dal (United) politicians
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