KOLKATA: Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has signed on political strategist Prashant Kishor to chart out their poll strategy and counter the rise of Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of 2021 West Bengal Assembly election.
A deal between TMC and Kishor's team was finalised on Thursday. However, unlike the previous elections, Kishor will not be the face of the campaign and will only bring in his domain expertise and his team on board.
State chief minister Mamata Banerjee, along with her nephew and TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee, met Kishor on Thursday at state secretariat Nabanna in Howrah. The meeting lasted for 1 hour 40 minutes.
A review of the recently-concluded Lok Sabha election results will be conducted in the next one-and-a-half month to analyse what led to a dip in the number of seats won by TMC. The party has also carried out a review of their own results. Both the teams will sit together and analyse the reviews.
Kishor's team will also look into the shift of vote bank from Left to BJP and the region-specific reasons behind BJP’s vote share increase. The team will also analyse if any particular caste, tribal, hindi-speaking or industrial belts in the state had any role in the vote-share swing.
Kishor's team will sit down with TMC's core team to work out a strategy. Apart from this, plan of action to push forward the issue of development will be discussed.
Once analysing the review is over, the strategy for 2021 Assembly elections will be chalked out.
Kishor is credited for charting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election campaign in 2014 Lok Sabha elections and more recently, Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress' spectaculor victory in Andhra Pradesh. The YSRC won 22 out of 25 Lok Sabha seats and 151 out of 175 Assembly seats last month. Kishore had also played a critical role in bringing Rashtriya Janata Dal and JD (U) together under the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) in the 2015 Bihar Assembly polls.
The BJP made stunning inroads in Trinamool-ruled West Bengal, winning 18 out the 42 Lok Sabha seats, up from just two seats in 2014. Trinamool, on the other hand, nosedived to 22 seats. The state has also been witnessing violent clashes between BJP and Trinamool cadres.