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3-min read

Focus on Grassroots, Review Performance and Avoid Feud: Prashant Kishor’s 10 Commandments for TMC

Prashant Kishor’s association with the TMC is crucial, given the BJP’s rise in the state and the threat it poses to Mamata Banerjee’s party.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:July 31, 2019, 3:29 PM IST
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Focus on Grassroots, Review Performance and Avoid Feud: Prashant Kishor’s 10 Commandments for TMC
File photo of Prashant Kishor.

Kolkata: Fifty-four days since his first official meeting with Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee, political strategist Prashant Kishor has listed 10 ‘commandments’ for party members, which include strengthening leadership at the grassroots and being accessible to people of the state.

To start with, the West Bengal chief minister was asked to desist from commenting on issues such as allegations of appeasement levelled against her as it could be a trap by the Opposition to gain momentum, especially on social media.

Banerjee was advised to review the performance of party cadre round-the-clock and especially on the ground level. In addition, Kishor asked the CM to ensure minimum presence of party leaders on the dais during a crucial announcement so that the core issue is not diluted.

The TMC chief seems to have taken the advice seriously as was evident with the presence of only two people on stage when she announced the ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ campaign at Nazrul Mancha in Kolkata on July 29.

So far as the party leaders and cadre are concerned, Kishor asked them to come out of election mode and focus on strengthening the party at the booth level, avoid instigation by the Opposition that can lead to violence and allow the political opponents to carry out their rallies and meetings in the state to further understand their strategy.

Other suggestions include non-politicisation of governance — which means district leaders should not instruct or dictate government officials — party members should be polite and grounded, easily available when people need them for assistance and corrupt local body members across all districts must be weeded out.

The TMC members were asked to follow the instructions till October, following which Kishor will frame a second list to be followed till the end of the year. The political strategist has also reportedly asked the party to pay heed to his suggestions or his purpose of being associated with them would be defeated.

Sources aware of the developments said in one of the meeting, Kishor reportedly told leaders that elections were like a war that everyone wanted to win and one must be disciplined to achieve success.

Kishor’s association with the TMC seems to have started giving dividends to the party as within the first hour of launching the ‘Didi ke Bolo’ campaign, several people congratulated Banerjee for opening a direct communication link with them.

“Now people will think twice before indulging in any wrongdoing as they know that people can get direct access to the chief m. We can see changes in the party after Kishor was roped in as more than one lakh youth joined the TMC and of these, nearly 40 per cent are from the BJP. We were told by our party leaders that we should not be restless about the 2021 assembly polls. We were asked to come out of election mode and work for the party at the ground level,” a TMC source said.

Kishor’s association with the TMC is crucial, given the BJP’s rise in the state and the threat it poses to Banerjee’s party. The TMC suffered a massive setback in the Lok Sabha polls as it secured just 22 seats out of 42, while the BJP went up from two to 18 seats. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the TMC had won 34 seats.

Kishor, who has worked for the BJP, Congress, YSR Congress Party and the JDU, has multiple electoral victories to his credit. His first major campaign was in 2011 when he secured the victory of Narendra Modi in Gujarat for the third term.

He came in the limelight when he helped Modi and the BJP ride to power in the 2014 general elections. Since 2014, Kishor has helped Nitish Kumar in Bihar, Amarinder Singh in Punjab and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh come to power.

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