Prashant Kishor, the man of the hour in TMC victory in the 2021 assembly election, has recently announced his retirement from the election strategy space. Given Kishor’s political ambitions, it is evident that he will now join active politics, probably with a Rajya Sabha seat by TMC.
Kishor always wanted to enter active politics and after the victory of the BJP in the 2014 general election, he wanted to be rewarded with a seat in Rajya Sabha. However, BJP’s refusal to give him a Rajya Sabha ticket led to his defection to JD(U), and he stitched the grand alliance in the Bihar assembly election 2015. After the grand alliance won the assembly election, Kishor was awarded Rajya Sabha seat by the party and was appointed as vice president of the party.
But, after Nitish Kumar dumped RJD to join BJP, the relations between Kishor and JD(U) started becoming uneasy and finally, he was expelled from the party. Kishor and his team (IPAC) looked after the election strategy of many regional parties like YSRCP, DMK, AITC after that and the victory of Mamata Banerjee in the 2021 West Bengal assembly election cemented his position as among the formidable election strategists of the country.
Now TMC is all set to send him and Yashwant Sinha to Rajya Sabha. The Rajya Sabha seat of Dinesh Trivedi, the senior politician who resigned from TMC and joined BJP before the assembly election, is vacant; the seat of Manas Bhunia, the senior TMC leader who won the assembly seat in the 2021 election, is also vacant. The Mamata Banerjee led party would probably send Prashant Kishor and Yashwant Sinha on these two seats.
The political ambitions of TMC and Prashant Kishor have grown manifold after the victory in the assembly election. The left-liberal intellectual establishment is already coining Mamata Banerjee’s name as the leader for the anti-BJP front in the 2024 general election.
Mamata Banerjee tried to mobilize the opposition parties behind her even before the 2019 general election but no regional party listened to her. On the other hand, Congress, despite being nowhere near BJP in terms of vote seats, bagged 21 per cent of the popular vote, which is 17 per cent more than the percentage of popular votes bagged by Mamata Banerjee’s TMC (4.07 per cent).
However, after the successive defeat of the Congress party and the inability of Rahul Gandhi to impress voters anywhere in the country, the position of Mamata Banerjee as the opposition leader has strengthened. So far, the contender against Prime Minister Modi, apart from Rahul Gandhi, used to be Arvind Kejriwal, but with the spectacular victory in the 2021 assembly election, Mamata Banerjee is definitely the choice of opposition to lead the anti-BJP alliance in the 2024 general election.
And the protege of Banerjee in this election would be Prashant Kishor. So Kishor might have announced retirement from the election strategy space, but now he will be inactive politics and manage the anti-Modi campaign in the 2024 general election. His political journey started with PM Modi in 2014 and took him to Patna and Kolkata and now is back to New Delhi with taking on PM Modi in the 2024 general election.