- Prashant Kishor was targeted in Lucknow poster for election result
- Top leaders today credit him with Punjab victory
- 'Reject propaganda by vested interests' (against Kishor): Congress
"The Congress party is satisfied with Prashant Kishor's work. Victory and failure are part of the game," said party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala today.
Similar compliments were paid on Twitter by Captain Amarinder Singh, who, at 75, has just taken over as Chief Minister of Punjab.
Fully endorse this! As I have said many times before, PK & his team and their work was absolutely critical to our victory in Punjab! https://t.co/QtzoHdjPx6- Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) March 21, 2017
The acclaim comes after a poster was displayed over the weekend at the Congress office in Lucknow, sarcastically offering five lakhs in exchange for locating Mr Kishor, who has offered no comment on the party's election result. Mr Kishor, 40, typically does not speak to the media.
Uttar Pradesh was an unmitigated disaster with the party sinking to just seven of 403 seats, its worst-ever result despite a collaboration with Akhilesh Yadav and his Samajwadi Party that was engineered largely by Mr Kishor. Sources close to the strategist say that when attributing culpability for the performance, it's important to remember that Mr Kishor's early suggestions that were devised as "game-changers"- including the promotion of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the presumptive Chief Minister- were rejected. He did his best, they say, given the determined opposition from the party's old-guard, leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Raj Babbar, who were reportedly distrusting of Mr Kishor's ideas and his easy access to the Gandhi family.