How Prashant Kishor is wooing Mulayam and Amar for an anti-BJP front

Javed M Ansari
Javed M AnsariNov 01, 2016 | 20:56

How Prashant Kishor is wooing Mulayam and Amar for an anti-BJP front

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor's meeting with SP supremo Mulayam singh Yadav and his close confidant Amar Singh this evening has set tongues wagging in the political corridors. The meeting assumes significance in the wake of reports that an attempt is being made to form a grand alliance in UP comprising like-minded parties against the BJP.

The groundwork for this evening's meeting was apparently done by Shivpal Yadav during his meeting with Kishore two days ago.

Moves to form a broad alliance comprising the SP, RLD, JD(U) RJD and the Congress have gathered pace with a view to consolidate the anti-BJP vote in the state.

Word coming out of Uttar Pradesh gives the BJP a distinct edge in the state, and the BJP's opponents are desperate to prevent the BJP from coming to power in the state. At stake is not just the future of the SP, the outcome of the next Assembly elections in UP could also influence to a large extent who comes to power at the Centre in the 2019 general elections. Mulayam Singh Yadav realises that he needs to not just to save his government in Uttar Pradesh, but also prevent his party from splitting.

At stake is not just the future of the SP. Credit: India Today

His political managers believe that if he succeeds in pulling off the impossible in Uttar Pradesh, he will be in pole position to become the face of the anti-BJP alliance at the Centre in 2019.

Besides being a much sought-after poll strategist, Prashant Kishor is also someone who shares an excellent rapport with the likes of JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar and is currently helping the Congress party with its electoral strategy in UP and Punjab - as well as enjoys a good rapport with the grand old party's leadership.

While most of the parties are aware of the advantages of a grand alliance on the lines of what happened in Bihar, they are also wary of the SP's intentions and it will be Prashant Kishor's job to help their overcome their fears and ensure that they come together to work out a mutually-acceptable alliance.

His task is by no means easy. He needs to convince the warring SP factions to put their egos aside and avert a split. Those close to him say he has made it clear to the SP leadership that the only way the alliance can have a chance of succeeding is if the SP remains united. "A fractured SP will defeat the very purpose of the grand alliance", says a key member of his team.

Parties like the JD(U), Ajit Singh's RLD, and even the Congress are waiting for the developments within the SP to play out, before formally committing themselves. They have been counselling the SP leadership to resolve its differences so that the alliance can work in a cohesive manner. "All of us want the grand alliance to take place, but for that to happen it is imperative that the SP remains united. We do not want to be a part of any family feud," says a JD (U) MP.

Last updated: November 03, 2016 | 11:54
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