First publised on 2022-02-28 10:04:31
The newest client for Prashant Kishor and IPAC is the Telengana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). The buzz in political circles was partially confirmed when Kishor, accompanied by actor Prakash Raj, toured Gajwel, the constituency of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR). Later, he also met KCR at the his farmhouse at Erravelli village in Siddipet district on Sunday. Kishor's meetings and the way he is reported to have interacted with people and the inquiries he made confirm that the IPAC team will soon take over the image building exercise and get the TRS ready for the state elections in end-2023. This comes soon after the civic elections in West Bengal where IPAC was accused of (mis)handling the social media accounts of a senior TMC leader (a charge vehemently denied by the organization) and of meddling in candidate selection which led to a lot of protests and a final intervention by chief minister Mamata Banerjee. There were also reports of a tiff between Kishor and Banerjee.
While IPAC has an excellent track record of handling the campaign of political parties and leading them to win elections, Kishor's track record in cementing these relationships is patchy. Often, he falls out with party leaders. Nitish Kumar also removed him from the JD(U) after a brief spell as vice-president, although a recent meeting (called a courtesy call by both Kumar and Kishor) fuelled speculation about the both coming back together again. Senior party leaders in all parties often view Kishor as meddlesome and someone who tries to reduce their importance in the party. IPAC has faced resistance on this count in many states. Hence, TRS and KCR will have to be on guard for this kind of resentment within the party as KCR runs a tight ship and dissent due to involving IPAC might lead to serious consequences. It is also being speculated that the KCR probably changed his stance from being neutral (even supporting the Centre on several issues) to being a fierce critic of Modi and the NDA government on Kishor's prompting.