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Prashant Kishor resigns as Punjab CM’s principal advisor, buzz on formal entry into Congress

The poll strategist had successfully managed the Congress' campaign in the 2017 assembly election and devised programmes such as "Punjab Da Captain" and "Coffee with Captain" to drum up support for the party.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh |
Updated: August 6, 2021 2:05:52 am
Prashant Kishor, Prashant Kishor resigns as Principal advisor to Amarinder, Amarinder Singh, Punjab CM, PK Amarinder tie, Punjab assembly elections, Punjab news, Indian expressPunjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had appointed Prashant Kishor as his principal advisor. (Express Photo/File)

Amid talk of his joining the Congress and the party leadership seriously discussing a blueprint prepared by him for its revival, political strategist Prashant Kishor on Thursday resigned as Principal Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

His move, many leaders in the Congress believe, is the precursor to his formal joining of the party. Interestingly, the party leadership (read the Gandhis) have reportedly not yet discussed his possible entry with many top leaders.

His resignation comes days after Amarinder bowed to the high command and grudgingly accepted the appointment of Navjot Singh Sidhu as PCC president.

Kishor was appointed Principal Advisor by Amarinder in March. He was expected to design Amarinder’s campaign for the next Assembly election.

Sources said Kishor sent his resignation to the CM stating, “As you are aware, in view of my decision to take a temporary break from active role in public life, I have not been able to take over the responsibilities as your Principal Advisor. Since I am yet to decide on my future course of action, I write to request you to kindly relieve me from this responsibility.”

The CMO has not confirmed receiving the resignation. The development was, however, awaited ever since Kishor said he would hang his boots from strategising after the West Bengal elections. After that he had not visited Punjab, though he had met Amarinder in Delhi recently.

Kishor had designed Amarinder’s strategy ahead of 2017 Assembly polls. After he designed the Congress campaign centred around Amarinder, the party won a handsome majority with 77 seats in an Assembly of 117 members.

Appointing him as Principal Advisor, Amarinder had tweeted: “Happy to share that @Prashant Kishor has joined me as my Principal Advisor. Look forward to working together for the betterment of the people of Punjab!”

He was appointed at Cabinet minister rank and was working pro bono. He was paid Re 1 a month as token honorarium and was entitled to perks like a government residence and half a dozen staff members. He was allotted an office in the Punjab secretariat but he never attended that office.

Kishor’s appointment was seen as Amarinder’s message that he (CM) would be leading the party’s campaign ahead of the Assembly polls. But with Sidhu’s appointment, the scenario has changed. Kishor’s quitting will be seen as a setback to Amarinder’s camp, especially when Kishor has been meeting the Congress top leadership, stirring up speculation that he may be working with the Congress at the national level.

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