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JD(S) in talks with Prashant Kishor for State Poll strategy

Janata Dal (S) is in preliminary talks with election strategist Prashant Kishor (in picture) to prepare the party for a major win in Karnataka where Assembly elections are due in 2023, or earlier in the event of a political crisis leading to mid-term polls.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2020, 10.48 AM IST
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BENGALURU: Janata Dal (S) is in preliminary talks with election strategist Prashant Kishor (in picture) to prepare the party for a major win in Karnataka where Assembly elections are due in 2023, or earlier in the event of a political crisis leading to mid-term polls.

His organisation Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) handles assignments from political parties and candidates to help them win elections. These are hard times for JD(S), which has now decided to approach elections with the help of strategies.

“I have spoken to him (Kishor) on the phone, and my son Nikhil (Kumaraswamy) has also followed it up with him. We will very soon meet in person, and have formal talks with him,” former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy told ET. The JD (S) leader is trying to rebuild the party from grass-roots level after a series of setbacks since the Lok Sabha polls last year.

“Nothing is finalised yet, but we are keen to have him with us. When we both spoke, he sounded interested to work with us,” Kumaraswamy said. The party, he said, will soon take a final call as Kishor would need enough time to plan and implement things for the party.

Kishor — who hails from Bihar — has been a vocal critic of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), and has praised the Congress publicly for its “unequivocal” rejection of CAA and NRC. Last month, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar expelled Kishor from the JD(U) after they fell out with each other.

He worked for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, first when he was the chief minister of Gujarat in 2012 when the state had Assembly polls. Two years later, the association continued when he worked for Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In the following months, he handled assignments for Capt Amarinder Singh in Punjab, the Congress-SP alliance in Uttar Pradesh, and recently, for YS Jaganmohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. He worked for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the just-held elections to the Delhi Assembly. Except the UP alliance, his approach worked in all other elections.

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