Election strategist Prashant Kishor has resigned as principal adviser to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ahead of the state assembly election. Kishor said that he wanted to take a “temporary break from an active role in public life”.
“As you are aware, in view of my decision to take a temporary break from (an) active role in public life, I have not been able to take over the responsibilities as your Principal Advisor. Since I am yet to decide on my future course of action, I write to request you to kindly relieve me from this responsibility,” he said in a letter to Amarinder.
Earlier in March this year, Amarinder Singh had appointed Prashant Kishor as his principal advisor. He was given the rank and status of a cabinet minister. The government had said that Kishor will get Re 1 per month as a token honorarium and would be entitled to perks including a government residence, half a dozen staff members, free transport, free air travel, telephone and medical facilities.
Prashant Kishor had during the 2017 assembly polls worked with Amarinder Singh. The grand old party had stormed to power, dethroning the then ruling SAD, but the result was almost a foregone conclusion due to a number of allegations against the Badal government catching public fancy.
Prashant Kishor’s resignation comes amidst reports about him firming up ties with the INC ahead of next year’s Assembly polls in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur will go polls early next year. Prashant Kishor recently met INC leader Rahul Gandhi, triggering talks that he could join the grand old party. It is believed that the two leaders had discussed the revival of INC. Sources said earlier that Rahul Gandhi in party meetings had sought the opinion of the leaders on the inclusion of Kishor in the party.
Prashant Kishor had earlier met Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and party interim president Sonia Gandhi.
As a political strategist, Kishor worked with many parties to win the elections. Notably, he played an instrumental role in strategizing Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) campaign in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections after which Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister. He helped Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar to win the Assembly polls in 2015. Following this, Kumar appointed Kishor as the vice president of JD(U). However, Kishor was expelled from JD(U) in January 2020 over his disagreement with the party on the issue of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).