Senior Congress leader and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday said poll strategist Prashant Kishor has joined him as his principal advisor. “Happy to share that @PrashantKishor has joined me as my Principal Advisor. Look forward to working together for the betterment of the people of Punjab!" said Singh in a tweet. Assembly election is due next year in the state that has been witnessing a huge number of its farmers protesting along Delhi’s borders against three central agri sector laws.
Soon after, the Chief Minister’s Office put out a tweet stating that Kishor would get cabinet minister-rank with associated perks and a “token honorarium of Re 1".
#PunjabCabinet clears the appointment of Shri @PrashantKishor as Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister @capt_amarinder Singh in the rank and status of a Cabinet Minister. pic.twitter.com/h7bTK9qKdD— CMO Punjab (@CMOPb) March 1, 2021
According to a report in NDTV, Kishor said the offer had been on the table for the past year, and that Singh is “like family" to him. “I can’t say ‘no’ to him…," Kishor was quoted as saying.
At present, Kishor's company, Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), is assisting Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the West Bengal election.
Kishor had handled the Congress’ campaign for Assembly election in Punjab in 2017 when the grand old party stormed to power by bagging 77 seats in the 117-member House. Kishor was the brain behind Punjab Congress programmes like ‘Coffee with Captain’ and ‘Punjab Da Captain; to drum up support for the party. Last year, the Punjab CM had said Kishor told him that he would be "quite happy" in handling the election campaign of the Congress in Punjab for the 2022 Assembly polls.
His claims had come amid media reports that Kishor had said no to handling the party's campaign in the state. Amarinder Singh had then even said Congress president Sonia Gandhi had left it to him on roping in Kishor for the party's poll campaign in the state. The CM had then said that he had even asked his party MLAs whether they want Kishor for the next Assembly polls. "Out of 80 MLAs, 55 said yes, they want him," Singh had then said. Kishor had also managed Narendra Modi's campaign for prime ministership in the 2014 General Election.(With inputs from PTI)