The uninterrupted success of Prashant Kishor in election management since 2015 is being halted by the routing of Congress in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The results clearly indicate that it is not mere strategy but the substance that sells
Nishant Kr Azad
“Vote is an individual right to be exercised socially. It symbolises your freedom; use it freely. Political parties that stand for the people, also stand on the strength of the people. If the people want that nobody should bend them, the people should lend them, their strength. It is people who are architects of political parties and through them of their political destiny”, these lines of Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya clearly say that it is the voters who decide the fate of
politicians and political parties and they are the ones who should decide the winners and losers.
Some political strategists missed this fact and acquired larger than life status in election management. The first phase of 2017 Assembly elections has shown them the mirror along with political pundits. In UP, it was not only Akhilesh Yadav led SP that lost the vote-share due to alliance with the Congress, another person who carried the victory tag on his sleeves since 2014 lost the face while working with the Gandhi scion.
The phrase “You can’t sell a bad product” appropriately suits the combination of Prashant Kishor and Rahul Gandhi. Kishor was hired by the Congress to set the things in order for the Congress. Kishor’s all efforts of strategising a win for Rahul Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh bite the dust. Beginning with the announcement of Sheila Dikshit as the Chief Ministerial candidate of UP to high fashioned Kisan rally & Khat Sabha for Rahul Gandhi and later joining hands with the Samajwadi Party, nothing worked in favour of Congress. It led to a disgraceful loss for the grand old party, with lowest ever tally of 7 seats with only 6.2 per cent vote share. Even in the family bastion of Amethi, the Congress lost all the 4 Assembly seats.
The man, who is regarded as the brain behind the BJP’s landslide victory in the 2014 General Election and Mahagathbandhan’s win in Bihar Assembly elections in 2015, tasted his first electoral defeat. In a hope to repeat Bihar in Uttar Pradesh, Kishor thought that grand alliance card could be a better option to revive the fortunes of the Congress in UP. In Bihar, the electoral battle was locked in a direct fight between the NDA and the Grand Alliance, while the UP?election was a three cornered contest. With the BSP with a strong and committed vote-share of at least 20 percent was out of the alliance arithmatic and the SP-Congress alliance (with 22.2% and 6.2%) respectively in 2014, were no match to the BJP’s vote-share of 42 per cent. More importantly, this time he was strategising for Rahul Gandhi who is loosing credibility in his own organisation and not for the ones like Modi or Nitish Kumar.
Until March 11, 2017, Prashant Kishor, the wonder boy of election management, was confident about the victory of his clients third time in a row. As the BJP’s massive win in Uttar Pradesh became evident, Kishor found himself at the receiving end on social networking sites with people mocking his strategies. He was nowhere in the media to respond to them. He exhausted his all cards to save the face of Congress in UP and Uttarakhand, but failed miserably.
According to the insiders, from the very first day, the Congress senior leaders were unhappy with his appointment as a consultant. Captain Amarinder kept him at a bay The clear mandate in UP and Uttarakhand has a lesson for people like Kishor that you can package the substance but cannot fool people by selling a person about whom own party cadres are not convinced. It is the public, not the strategists, who decides the electoral success. After all, yeh public hai yeh sab janti hai”.