Here’s an Ivy League alumni who is shaping India’s electoral politics

Here’s an Ivy League alumni who is shaping India’s electoral politics

The BJP isn’t the only party that has emerged victorious in the 2019 general elections.

The Yuvajana Shramika Raithu (YSR) Congress, which is led by Jagan Mohan Reddy, is also celebrating a comfortable victory in both the Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh.

And it seems they have someone to thank for that.

Prashant Kishor is the man behind their electoral strategy. The engineering graduate and former UN public health official hails from Bihar.

Kishor, who also advised the BJP during its successful general election campaign in 2014 as well as Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United (JDU) in 2015, spearheaded the YSR Congress’s campaign this time around.

The party handily won all 25 constituencies in Andhra Pradesh and 144 out of 175 seats in the Legislative Assembly - a staggering victory by any measure. The 25 seats actually make it the third-largest single party in the Lok Sabha after the BJP and Congress.

For the last two years, Jagan Mohan Reddy’s party has been working with the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), the organisation founded by Kishor. I-PAC had a coordinator in every constituency in Andhra Pradesh, providing feedback to the organisation’s leaders on a regular basis.

As a result of Kishor’s efforts, YSR Congress will form the government in Andhra Pradesh for the first time, displacing the incumbent chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and his TDP (Telugu Desam Party).


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