Political strategist Prashant Kishor and the I-PAC of which he is a mentor are basking in the glory of YSR Congress Party’s landslide victory in the Andhra Pradesh elections. As the YSRCP stormed to power with 151 seats in 175-member Assembly, the India-Political Action Committee (I-PAC) is celebrating its best-ever achievement. Working with the YSRCP was a commitment Prashant Kishor had given before taking a plunge into politics late last year and as mentor and advisor of I-PAC, he ensured successful execution of the strategy. As the results were pouring in from across Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, he was with YSRCP leader Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy at the latter’s residence in Amaravati, watching the outcome.
Prashant Kishor later tweeted to thank Andhra’s voters and colleagues at I-PAC and congratulated new CM Jagan Mohan Reddy. A great admirer of Jagan Reddy’s father and late Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, he had told the YSRCP leader once that he would be happy to help the party. They started working in 2017 with the political strategist personally holding series of strategy sessions with Jagan Reddy and other senior party leaders. This was followed by I-PAC team launching a series of campaigns for the party to strengthen the organisation and train party workers. In a period spanning 709 days, I-PAC managed 35 campaigns including 18 online.
“The political consulting firm was instrumental in setting the strategy for the party and creating the narrative which eventually led to the victory of the YSRCP,” said I-PAC. “This was the longest campaign I-PAC has ever done and the best results it got in any campaign in terms of seats,” said Asbah Farooqui, head, national media, I-PAC. Under this strategy, the party reached out to people and established a direct connect with voters. Jagan Reddy’s 14-month-long ‘padyatra’ was part this effort. The YSRCP managed to reach over 4.8 crore people in one crore households at least once in the last two years.
The I-PAC also helped the YSRCP digitally dominate over other parties by designing innovative campaigns involving thousands of youth. It also created campaign song ‘Ravali Jagan Kavali Jagan’, which registered 2.2 crore views. With 400 people working on ground in the state, it came out with interesting campaigns such as ‘Ninnu Nammam Babu’ (We don’t trust you Babu) and ‘Bye Bye Babu’ targeting Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. With the massive victory of the YSRCP, Prashant Kishor and I-PAC achieved their goal but sources close to him said he will not pick up a campaign for any other party. He, however, will continue to mentor and guide the I-PAC, which has 400 plus strong team.
The I-PAC is currently working with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. It worked on the party’s campaign in just-concluded Lok Sabha elections and will continue to work till Assembly elections scheduled later this year. Before joining Janata Dal-United in September last year, Prashant Kishor had declared that he would not campaign for anyone but completed the assignment with the YSRCP as he had made the commitment to Jagan Reddy earlier. Currently JD-U Vice President, Prashant Kishore formulated the election strategy for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 elections. He subsequently ran successful campaigns for JD-U in 2015 Bihar elections and for Congress in 2017 Punjab polls.