Election strategist Prashant Kishor resigned today as Principal Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ahead of the Punjab election next year, stressing that he would "not be involved" in the 2022 state elections.
In a letter to Amarinder Singh, Prashant Kishor said he was taking "a temporary break from active role in public life" and added he has yet to decide on his next move.
"As you are aware, in view of my decision to take a temporary break from active role in public life, I have not been able to take over the responsibilities as your Principal Advisor. Since I am yet to decide on my future course of action, I write to request you to kindly relieve me from this responsibility," Mr Kishor said in the letter.
He confirmed to NDTV that he "will not be involved in the next round of elections", signaling that his focus is on the 2024 general election.
The move is bound to disappoint the Chief Minister, who approaches the Punjab polls amid a fragile truce with his rival Navjot Singh Sidhu.
The strategist's appointment was announced by Amarinder Singh in March, when Mr Kishor was managing a harrowing Bengal campaign for Mamata Banerjee versus the BJP.
"Happy to share that Prashant Kishor has joined me as my principal advisor. Look forward to working together for the betterment of people of Punjab!" - Mr Singh, aka "Captain", had tweeted. The strategist was given cabinet rank in Punjab.
Sources close to Mr Kishor say he never really took on the job.
Much has changed since then.
"There is no point getting involved in state elections when the entire focus is on 2024," said the sources, referring to the opposition's moves to join forces ahead of the next general election.
Mamata Banerjee's victory in Bengal, a big boost for opposition parties looking to take on the BJP in the 2024 national election, has propelled Mr Kishor to the thick of political activities in Delhi.
Last month, he met with all three Gandhis on the possibility of a more active role in the 2024 campaign, be it as an adviser or as a member of the Congress.
Mamata Banerjee, who continues to be advised by Mr Kishor, recently made her first trip to Delhi since her election victory and held politically significant talks amid signals that she is ready for a bigger political role beyond Bengal. The Bengal Chief Minister also met with Mr Kishor in Delhi.