Poll strategist Prashant Kishor has been roped in by the Congress for the Uttarakhand Assembly election, the third poll-bound state where he will work for the party after Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Congress general secretary and in-charge of party affairs in Uttarakhand Ambika Soni said Kishor will help the party in the hill state where Assembly polls are slated to be held on February 15.
She said since the time left for campaigning in the state was very less, Kishor will help strategise the party’s campaign there and will work in coordination with the Congress leaders in Uttarakhand. Soni, who is also the campaign committee chairman of Punjab Congress, said the party workers who faced “oppression” under the Akali regime for the last 10 years should not be ignored at the time of allotting poll tickets.
She said the veteran party workers had the “first right” on poll tickets over “outsiders” coming into the Congress-fold ahead of the polls. “Those Congressmen who have faced oppression under the Akali regime for the last 10 years should not be ignored. It is my personal opinion that wherever we have good candidates in Punjab, they should not be ignored for outsiders joining the party, especially those tainted,” Soni said.
Sources said the Congress urged Kishor to work in Uttarakhand as well where the party was tipped to face a keen tussle with the BJP. The hill state has witnessed the two parties coming to power alternately. Kishor’s appointment has been made at the eleventh hour, at a time when the BJP is making the battle for the hill state a prestige issue after the Congress government in the state, led by Chief Minister Harish Rawat, was briefly dismissed last year and President’s Rule imposed. Kishor was earlier the poll strategist of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the 2014 Lok Sabha election and later, of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.