Kolkata: In an interesting development, the poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who helped Trinamool Congress to win in the recent Assembly polls, has registered himself as a voter of the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency. The election commission website claims that Kishor has registered himself in the period between January and April fuelling speculation that he might join the party.
The inclusion of Kishor before the bye-election in the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency, where Mamata Banerjee is contesting to retain her post as the chief minister of the state, triggered controversy. Taking a jibe at the ruling Trinamool Congress, the BJP on Saturday said Prashant Kishor, who was the poll adviser of the Mamata Banerjee-led party in the recent West Bengal elections, can be called a “bohiragato” being enrolled as a voter in the Bhabanipur constituency.
Claiming that PK (poll strategist Prashant Kishor) is in the list, who is the founder of I-PAC, BJP media cell in-charge Saptarshi Choudhury tweeted in Bengali, “At last Prashant Kishor becomes the voter of Bhabanipur. So, we are not sure if the daughter of Bengal is now in favour of a bahiragato (outsider) voter.”
Kishore with an EPIC number of IUI0686683 has been shown as a permanent resident of Bhabanipur Assembly constituency and has the polling station at Booth No- 222 in Rani Shankari Lane under the constituency.
Kishor, credited with the spectacular victory of the Trinamool Congress against a high voltage Assembly poll campaign by the BJP, had announced he will be taking a break from strategising work.
He was not seen publicly in Trinamool’s campaign for Bhabanipur since the announcement of poll dates, but sources said he had held meetings with party national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee recently in Delhi.
Kishor’s I-PAC team members had also visited Tripura, which the Trinamool is eyeing in the 2023 polls, but were allegedly confined in a hotel by the BJP government in the state for three days under the Disaster Management Act.
Kishor’s inclusion in Bhabanipur voters’ list has virtually ended the speculation of his joining the Congress. Kishor was meeting Congress’ top leadership, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for the last few months fuelling the speculation that he might join Congress. Sources in the party had also indicated that the decision of his’ joining the party was lying with Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Kishor had initially worked with the BJP in the run-up to 2014 Lok Sabha elections and thereafter joined the JD(U) and was the party’s national president. However, he was expelled from the party for his anti-party activities and allegedly using the party platform for his selfish personal purposes.
Kishor also worked with the Congress during the last Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. He also assisted the party in Punjab and was Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s adviser, a post he quit recently.