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Man who built brand Modi, behind Nitish’s victory in Bihar this time


Man who built brand Modi, behind Nitish’s victory in Bihar this time.

Prashant Kishor, famous for Modi’s ‘chai pe charcha’, also launched ‘parcha pe charcha’ to help Nitish get feedback on his govt’s performance.

Patna, India | Red Newswire |  Nov 8, 2015 Last Updated at 10:00 PM IST.

The man who hard-sold brand during the 2012 Assembly polls in Gujarat and last year’s general elections, also helped craft Nitish Kumar’s campaign strategy in Bihar that saw him thump his arch foe in the state assembly election.

Prashant Kishor, a native of Bihar, had quit a UN health expert’s job in Africa in 2011 and returned to India to form a group of young professionals who devised the strategy to project Modi as the face of good governance in the 2012 Gujarat polls and last year’s general with resounding success.

Kishor, the man with the Midas touch, replicated the feat once again when secured a third consecutive term trouncing BJP-led in Bihar where Modi, an arch rival of the JD(U) leader, had staked it all, having addressed at least 31 election rallies, unusual for a Prime Minister in a state poll.
Kishor, 37, who conceptualised and implemented Modi’s popular ‘chai pe charcha’ initiative, substituted it with ‘parcha pe charcha’ (discussion over pamphlets) under which Nitish’s poll managers sought feedback from people on the state government’s performance over the past decade.

Realising that the JD(U) cannot match the resources of BJP, Kishor’s team also devised the ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ (knock on every door) that helped the party establish a personal connect with the masses.

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When top leaders were busy criss-crossing Bihar on helicopters, Nitish Kumar and workers of his party went knocking the doors of the electorate seeking their vote as part of the direct outreach initiative.

When asked why he switched over to Modi’s rival, Kishor said,” Nitish Kumar is one of the country’s most credible politicians.”

JD(U) supporters celebrate the Mahagathbandhan’s victory in Bihar assembly elections in Patna. Photo: PTI

The usually “laconic” Kumar, members of Kishor’s team said, was hardly a talking point when the team landed in Patna. Working assiduously behind the scene, they crafted a strategy where Kumar matched Modi’s each trenchant criticism with equally sharp retort.

Kishor had brought together a group of graduates from India’s premier institutes and multinational companies to work on Modi’s 2014 election campaign under the name ‘Citizens for Accountable Governance’. He dissolved CAG a few months after the elections.

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(With inputs from PTI / This article first appeared on Business Standard)

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