In a surprising statement made on Sunday on news channel NDTV, political strategist Prashant Kishor, iPac chief, said he would quit the domain of political campaigning for good and let others in the organisation take over. In fact, he had thrown a challenge in Dec 2020 that BJP cannot win over 100 seats in West Bengal and he would quit if it does.

On Sunday, when the results were streaming live the victorious tirade of Trinamool Congress under Mamata Banerjee, proving his point, the strategist took a U-turn and said he would, anyway, quit this "space".  He told NDTV anchor Srinivasan Jain, "I want to call it quits, leave this space for good," sending viewers across the country into an instant shock.

Prashant Kishor with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and JD(U) leader KC Tyagi in Patna on Sunday.ANI

In Dec. 2020, he had put out a challenge on Twitter stating, "For all the hype AMPLIFIED by a section of supportive media, in reality BJP will struggle to CROSS DOUBLE DIGITS in West Bengal," he tweeted, and vowed to "quit this space" if proven wrong. "PS: Please save this tweet and if BJP does any better I must quit this space!" he added.

Kishor's tweet comes at a time when BJP reinforced its presence in the state with senior cabinet ministers constantly visiting the state to defeat the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress in West bengal in the 2021 Assembly elections.

Going by the parliamentary seats won by BJP in the state 18 out of the 42 seats, BJP is confident to put up a better show with Trinamool Congress (TMC) heavyweights such as Suvendu Adhikari joining its ranks.

Kishor's strategy

Kishor, whose Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) was a strategy planner for several campaigns that led to significant victories in the last one decade, worked with the ruling TMC in the Assembly elections.

But the I-PAC, best known for bringing Narendra Modi and the BJP to power in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and several regional parties in the state assembly elections later, has been picked by TMC chief Mamata Banerjee to turn around the aggressive electoral fight unleashed by BJP in the state.

Kishor proved that focusing on positivity yields results and took up issues like buses that have been arranged for migrants, countering "misleading gossip", and resumption of electricity service post-Cyclone Amphan to highlight the state government's achievements in the state.

Going by the turn around scored by Aam Aadmi Party's victory in Delhi Assembly elections in February 2020, TMC was able to repeat a similar feat in the state with the help of I-PAC in 2021.