Political strategist Prashant Kishor joins Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) ahead of 2019 elections

Political strategist Prashant Kishor, who first shot to fame after constructing successful campaigns for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, joined the Janata Dal (United) in Patna on Sunday to help chief minister Nitish Kumar in Lok Sabha elections next year.

“He is the future I tell you,” the Bihar chief minister told TV news channel NDTV about Kishor, 41, before a JD (U) state executive meeting in Patna.

“Excited to start my new journey from Bihar!” said a Twitter handle associated with Kishor, who hails from Buxar in Bihar. He waved a slip acknowledging his JD(U) membership at the meeting.

Sources in JD(U) said Nitish Kumar’s decision to induct Kishore is a signal that the party will bargain hard with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its ally, for contesting seats in the 2019 elections. Kishore might contest from the Buxar parliamentary seat as a JD(U) nominee but that decision has not been finalised, the sources said. The seat is represented by BJP leader and union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey.

Kishor, who runs the Indian Political Action Committee, works on personal leadership branding, political strategy, macro and micro campaign events, communication, messaging and speeches, besides proving inputs on ticket distribution and constituency micro-dynamics.

He worked closely with Narendra Modi during the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Gujarat 2012 campaign and the Lok Sabha 2014 election, but later developed differences and went his separate way to working for BJP’s political adversaries, including the Grand Alliance in Bihar and the Congress in Punjab.

Kishor first advised Nitish Kumar and helped the Grand Alliance of JD-(U), Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress win in Bihar in 2015. He then moved to the Congress in 2016, where his record was mixed.

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has publicly recognised his role in the successful Punjab campaign. But in Uttar Pradesh, where Congress performed disastrously in alliance with Samajwadi Party, his efforts came a cropper, marking the end of his political ties with the party. He has recently been working with Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh.

The JD (U) state executive committee meeting on Sunday will deliberate on seat sharing and the party’s branding in elections in which the National Democratic Alliance will be pitted against the Rashtriya Janata Dal-Congress partneship in Bihar.

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