Prashant Kishor

Prashant Kishore
BornRohtas, Bihar, India
1977 (age 43–44)
NationalityIndia Indian
OccupationPolitical Strategist
Known for2012 Gujarat Legislative Assembly election
2014 Indian general election
2015 Bihar Legislative Assembly election
2017 Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly election
2019 Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly election
2020 Delhi Legislative Assembly election
2020 Bihar Legislative Assembly election
2021 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election
2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election
2022 Punjab Legislative Assembly election
Political partyJanata Dal (United)

Prashant Kishor (born 1977)[1] is an Indian political consultant and politician.[2] He joined Janata Dal (United) in September 2018.[3][4] He was expelled from the party on 29 January 2020 for criticizing party head Nitish Kumar's supportive stand on Citizenship Amendment Act (2019).[5] Initially trained in public health, Kishor has worked for the United Nations for eight years before entering into Indian politics.[6][7]

Kishor has worked as an election strategist for BJP, INC, AAP, YSRCP , DMK and TMC. His first major political campaign was in 2011 to help Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat get re-elected to the CM Office for a third time in the Gujarat Assembly Elections 2012. However, he came to wider public attention when Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG), an election-campaign group he conceptualised, helped the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win an absolute majority in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.[8]

Personal life and career

Prashant Kishor is from the village of Rohtas district but his father Shrikant Pandey, a doctor, shifted to Buxar in Bihar. There, Kishor completed his secondary education.[9][7]

Reportedly working pro bono, and without holding any office in the BJP or Gujarat Government, Kishor became one of the major strategists in the BJP's pre-election campaign.[10] He joined Janata Dal (United) political party on 16 September 2018.[6]

CAG and the 2014 general-election campaign

In 2013, Kishor created Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG), a media and publicity company in preparation for the May 2014 general election of India.[11]

Kishor was credited with formulating an innovative marketing & advertising campaign for Narendra Modi— the Chai pe Charcha discussions,[12] 3D rallies, Run for Unity,[8] Manthan and social media programmes.[13]   

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, author of 'Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times' said Kishor was one of the most important people in Modi's team driving strategies for months before 2014 elections.[14]

Kishor parted ways with Modi, converted the (CAG) into a specialist policy outfit, Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC).[15]

I-PAC and the 2015 Bihar Assembly election campaign

In 2015, Kishor and other CAG members regrouped as I-PAC to work with Nitish Kumar, in a bid to win a third term as Chief Minister of Bihar in Assembly Elections.[16] The claims were that Kishor dramatically influenced the strategy, resources and alliances for the campaign.[17][1]

I-PAC, named after the US based lobbying groups which are designated as PAC designed a cycle carrying the message of the CM's seven commitments, with the slogan “Nitish ke Nishchay: vikas ki guarantee" (Nitish's vow: development guaranteed).[18][19]

Upon winning the Bihar elections, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar named Kishor as his advisor for planning and programme implementation, with a brief look for ways to implement the seven-point agenda that was promised during Kumar's election campaign.[20][19]

Punjab Assembly Election 2017

In 2016 Kishor was hired by the Congress for Punjab Assembly Elections due in 2017 to help Amarinder Singh's campaign in Punjab after losing two consecutive Assembly elections for the Congress.[21][22][23]

This win in Punjab has been credited by TV channels like Zee News to Kishor and his team. Several Congress leaders like Randeep Surjewala and Shankersinh Vaghela came on record to openly credit Kishor with the win.[24] Singh tweeted, "As I have said many times before, PK & his team and their work was absolutely critical to our victory in Punjab!".[25]

Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election 2017

In 2016 Congress employed Kishor for the 2017 UP Elections. However, these elections were a failure for the Congress and Kishor as BJP won more than 300+ seats and Congress could only manage 7 seats.[26]

Kishor’s decision to side with the Congress in UP was deemed ill-advised by analysts and politicians alike for the party had been out of power in the state for 27 years.[27]

It was alleged that Kishor faced difficulty in getting his ideas and suggestions implemented and him and his organisation, at best, were supporting the campaign from the sidelines. Sankarshan Thakur in the Telegraph said, “It was never the party, mind you, that wooed, or even wanted, Kishor; it was always the party’s first family. And that might be central to why the going for Kishor has been so uncertain, unproductive, unnerving."[28]

Andhra Pradesh Assembly Elections 2019

Kishor was appointed as political advisor to Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy in May 2017. I-PAC designed and executed a series of electoral campaigns for YSRCP like 'Samara Sankharavam", "Anna Pilupu", and the "Praja Sankalpa Yatra" in an attempt to change the image of YSRCP.[29] YSRCP won with a large majority of 151 seats out of 175 seats.

Delhi Assembly Elections 2020

Kishor was the election strategist for Aam Aadmi Party in 2020 Delhi Legislative Assembly election.[30] Aam Aadmi Party managed to win with a sweeping majority of 62 out of 70 seats in the elections.[31]

Bihar Elections 2020

In February 2020, leaders of opposition Jitan Ram Manjhi, Upendra Kushwaha and Mukesh Sahni met Kishor in Delhi ahead of 2020 Bihar Legislative Assembly election to be held in October-November. However, Kishor announced that he would not support any party, but will reach out to 10 lakh youths in 100 days to support his Baat Bihar Ki campaign which is aimed at making Bihar one of the 10 best states in the country.[32][33]

West Bengal Elections 2021

Kishor was appointed as an advisor of All India Trinamool Congress for the 2021 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election.[34][35] His astute strategy helped the All India Trinamool Congress better its performance with respect to 2016 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, and again form the government.

Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections 2021

DMK chief M. K. Stalin announced on 3 February 2020 that Kishor was signed up as a party strategist for the upcoming 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election as a result DMK wins the election with 158+ seats and M.K.Stalin became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the first time.[36]

Punjab Elections 2022

In March 2021, Kishor was appointed as the principal advisor to Amarinder Singh . He has been given the status equivalent to a Cabinet Minister.[37]

Retirement from Election Strategy

After the win of the AITC in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly Elections and DMK in 2021 Tamilnadu Assembly Elections, he declared that he was quitting as an election strategist.[38] In an interview with NDTV on the 2nd of May 2021, Kishor told anchor Sreenivasan Jain on live TV, "I do not want to continue what I am doing. I have done enough. Time for me to take a break and do something else in life. I want to quit this space."[39]


  1. ^ a b Sankarshan Thakur. "Modi's ace versus Modi's ex-mace Archived 19 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine". The Telegraph. 23 July 2015.
  2. ^ "It's a win for Prashant Kishor too — but is there a 'magic touch'?".
  3. ^ "Prashant Kishor joins Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United)". Livemint. 16 September 2018. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Prashant Kishor becomes Advisor to Bihar CM". The Hindu. 22 January 2016. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  5. ^ PTI (29 January 2020). "Thank you and God bless you for retaining CM post: Prashant Kishor to Nitish after suspension from JD(U) | India News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Election Guru Prashant Kishor Join's Nitish Kumar's JD(U)". Headlines Today. Archived from the original on 16 September 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  7. ^ a b Tewary, Amarnath (16 September 2018). "Poll strategist Prashant Kishor joins JD(U)". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  8. ^ a b, Sruthijith KK. "Meet the nonprofit whose backroom work powered Modi to victory". Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  9. ^ "JD(U) May Field Prashant guhani from Brahmin Bastion Buxar in 2019". News18. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  10. ^ K, Sruthijith K. (7 October 2013). "Prashant Kishor: Meet the most trusted strategist in the Narendra Modi organisation". The Economic Times. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  11. ^ Venugopal, Vasudha (15 May 2014). "Narendra Modi's Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG): Will it be disbanded or play bigger role?". Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. The Economic Times. Archived from the original on 16 September 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Narendra Modi to launch 'chai pe charcha' campaign today". Archived from the original on 8 September 2018. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
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  14. ^ "{title}". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  15. ^ Tripathi, Piyush (6 March 2016). "Power battle looms large". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016 – via Google.
  16. ^ "Prashant Kishor: Man pivot of PM Narendra Modi campaign in talks to help steer JD(U) in Bihar election". timesofindia-economictimes. Archived from the original on 15 November 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  17. ^ "Backroom boy who changed the rules". Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  18. ^ "Bihar Cabinet gives nod to implement Nitish Kumar's 'Saat Nischay'". The Hindu. 20 February 2016. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  19. ^ a b Manish, Sai (11 March 2017). "Behind Congress' Punjab election win: Prashant Kishor's behind-the-scenes magic at display". Business Standard India. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  20. ^ Anuja (22 January 2016). "Prashant Kishor appointed Nitish Kumar's advisor". Live Mint. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  21. ^ "How Captain Amarinder Singh Won Punjab: Here's the Inside Story". The Quint. Archived from the original on 30 March 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  22. ^ "Amarinder-Prashant Kishor 'Jodi' Ensured Congress' Punjab Comeback". The Quint. Archived from the original on 30 March 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  23. ^ "The man who won Punjab: breaking down Captain Amarinder's path to victory". Archived from the original on 30 March 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  24. ^ "Punjab: Prashant Kishor gets praise from Congress". Zee News. 21 March 2017. Archived from the original on 30 March 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  25. ^ "Capt.Amarinder Singh on Twitter". Twitter. Archived from the original on 17 April 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  26. ^ "Prashant Kishor: Master strategist who sank the Congress ship in Uttar Pradesh - Firstpost". Archived from the original on 30 April 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  27. ^ "A PK Production: Prashant Kishor's Shot At Uttar Pradesh". Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  28. ^ Thakur, Sankarshan (27 November 2016). "The unravelling of Prashant Kishor". The Telegraph, Calcutta. Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  29. ^ Nitin B. (24 March 2019). "Inside I-PAC's war room for Jagan Mohan Reddy's Chief Ministerial campaign". The News Minute. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  30. ^ Kumar, Manish; Ghosh, Deepshikha (27 January 2020). "'Press EVM Button So That Current...' Prashant Kishor Vs Amit Shah". Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  31. ^ Jeelani, Gulam (12 February 2020). "How AK-62 fired on all cylinders". India Today. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  32. ^ Tewary, Amarnath (21 February 2020). "Bihar Opposition leaders meet Prashant Kishor". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  33. ^ Singh, Rohit Kumar (23 February 2020). "Baat Bihar Ki: Prashant Kishor's ambitious campaign for Bihar to be launched today". India Today. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  34. ^ PTI (22 February 2020). "'Adviser' Prashant Kishor has altered political discourse of Mamata's TMC". Business Standard. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  35. ^ ANI (10 April 2021). "Prashant Kishor's leaked audio chat increases political temperature in Bengal, TMC hits out at BJP". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  36. ^ PTI (3 February 2020). "DMK teams up with Prashant Kishor's I-PAC for 2021 Tamil Nadu polls". India Today. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  37. ^ Sethi, Chitleen K. (1 March 2021). "Punjab CM Amarinder Singh appoints poll-strategist Prashant Kishor as principal advisor". ThePrint. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  38. ^ ""Quitting This Space": Prashant Kishor Says Wont Do Election Strategy". Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  39. ^ ""Quitting This Space": Prashant Kishor Says Wont Do Election Strategy". Retrieved 2 May 2021.


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