In the left-liberal ecosystem, there are several illusions and misunderstandings. But nothing beats the description of Prashant Kishor as a master political/ electoral strategist. The left-leaning media has glorified his number crunching abilities and has given him a ‘strategist’ tag.
In fact, the very fact that Prashant Kishor isn’t really a brilliant political strategist is out in the open, yet again. This time he came up with a three-point formula on how the BJP can be defeated during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. So far so good, right? But wait, let’s go through his formula and decode if it is actually all that great.
Prashant Kishor’s three-point formula
In his interview with NDTV, Kishor claimed that the BJP can be defeated in 2024.
So, he claims that the BJP is popular because of its three pillars:
- Ultra nationalism; and
- Public welfare policies.
This is alright. BJP has won hearts with its nationalistic moves like abrogation of Article 370 and enhancement of military capabilities. Also, policies like Jan Dhan Yojna, MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) and Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) have helped the BJP in expanding its popularity in the deprived sections of the society.
And then, Hindutva helps the BJP in retaining its core identity and ideology. The BJP hasn’t compromised with it either.
So, BJP’s core voter constituency as well the new sections of society that vote for it remain by and large satisfied with it.
Prashant Kishor’s formula for opposition parties
Kishor claims that if the opposition has to beat the BJP, then it will have to create a counter-narrative against the BJP’s narrative that rests on the three aforementioned pillars.
And how do they create a counter-narrative? Kishor advises that the opposition parties should leave the BJP behind on at least any two of these three narratives. This basically means that opposition parties will have to come out with even stronger remarks and narratives on these three fronts, which have already become BJP’s plus point.
Why the three point formula will be a bizarre failure?
No party will speak against pro-people and welfare policies. So, that is already a universal factor. We are left with Hindutva and nationalism or what left liberals call ultra-nationalism.
Now, if opposition parties take Kishor’s advice, they will have to come up with strong narratives that make them look good on at least one front- Hindutva or nationalism.
But will it really work? Every party has a core identity and a voter base of its own. This is true for BJP and every other party. Narratives surrounding nationalism, Hindutva and development aren’t something that BJP created in the recent past, rather they formed the very basis of its foundation. BJP looks good and genuine when it works on them, and its core voter base feels good too because it gets what it wants.
But if say Congress were to suddenly start pushing Hindutva ideology, it will not appeal to its core voter base. Similarly, if some regional party with a strong sub-nationalist ideology suddenly starts pushing ultra nationalism, it will lose its identity and core voter base too.
Also, if a party copies the BJP, it will end up appearing like a shoddy duplicate. No one wants to bring a duplicate to power. As long as the BJP stays focused on its three main agendas, its opponents will not have even a remote chance of copying it and beating the BJP at its own game.
Prashant Kishor’s analysis has thus failed to impress, once again contradicting his image as a ‘master strategist’.