June 16, 2021
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Rejoinder: Election Campaign Not A 'Business'

The Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) says managing Nitish Kumar's election campaign is a labour of love

Rejoinder: Election Campaign Not A 'Business'

Reacting to the opinion piece on this website under the headline, 'The Prashant Kishor factor', the Indian Political Action Committee ( I-PAC) has pointed out that the article in question wrongly described the initiative of Prashant Kishor as a commercial or a business enterprise.

A I-PAC spokesman speaking on condition of anonymity claimed that Kishor, who is credited to have run a 'modern' election campaign for Narendra Modi in 2013-14  and for Nitish Kumar in the Bihar election, worked for individual leaders he believed in. The services he offered was more personal and political in nature, they emphasised. Kishor and his team, said the spokesman, did not work for any political party and it was wrong to suggest that his services were available "at a price" and for hire.

All team members, sources close to Kishor told Outlook, worked on subsistence allowance and many of them sacrifice lucrative jobs and high salary to work in elections for a pittance. There are several examples of team members who drew a monthly salary of Rupees five lakhs or more being paid just about 10 per cent of the salary.

These sources claimed that while it was true that Kishor was being sent feelers by a section of the BJP leadership to return to its fold, there was no possibility of Kishor spearheading the re-election campaign of  Narendra Modi in 2019. They quoted Kishor  himself  ruling out such a possibility although he continues to share a personal chemistry with the Prime Minister.

"While Prashant is quite open about admitting that he retains a warm, personal relationship with the Prime Minister, he is equally clear that this particular chapter (of  Kishor strategising Modi's campaigns like Chai-Pe-Charcha and simultaneous beaming of campaign speeches etc.) was over," they told Outlook.

These sources also claimed that the team put up by Kishor in Bihar under the banner of I-PAC (Indian Political Action Committee) was very different from CAG (Citizens for Accountable Governance) that he had put up to campaign for Narendra Modi's bid for becoming the Prime Minister in 2013.

I-PAC on behalf of Kishor  also maintains that while it was a fact that his parents hailed from Bihar and UP and that his wife hailed from Assam, he had never allowed his work to interfere with his family.

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