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Published On: Sat, Dec 28th, 2019

After Saffron Minister Asks ‘Who is Prashant Kishor?’, The Poll magician Comes Up with Sarcastic Retort

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2019-12-27-6NEW DELHI :A day after Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that he didn’t know who Prashant Kishor was, the ace poll strategist took a swipe at the BJP leader on Saturday saying it is expected of him to not know an “ordinary man”.
questioned “Who is Kishor”, JDU Vice President and founder of I-PAC Prashant Kishor has responded. Speaking to news agency ANI on Saturday, he has said that a leader of Puri’s stature may not know a common man like Kishor.
In a sarcastic comment, Kishor hit back saying, “He is a senior Minister, why will he know an ordinary man like me? In Delhi, lakhs of people from Uttar Pradesh-Bihar like me live and struggle, how will such a senior leader like Puri know so many people?”

He has also emphasized his Bihari identity and said that there are many people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh struggling in Delhi. Making a sharp but sarcastic remark, he said that Puri’s post might lose its dignity if he tries to know all of them.
Replying to a question at a press conference in New Delhi, Puri, the Union housing and urban affairs minister, who is also the co-incharge of the BJP for the Delhi polls, said he did not know Kishor personally. “Who is Prashant Kishor?,” he asked, when a question was put to him about I-PAC being roped in by the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP ahead of the Delhi polls, slated to be held early next year.

When reporters told the minister that Kishor was a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he said, “I was not there during that time.””May be I should know, but I do not know him (Kishor),” Puri said on being told by reporters that he was also part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) — the national vice-president of the Janata Dal (United).

Kishor’s I-PAC had used innovative programmes such as “chai pe charcha” in the 2014 campaign for Modi. The firm worked on a number of successful campaigns since 2014, including the one that brought JD(U) supremo and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to power in the state in 2015.
It also helped Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy win the Assembly polls and put up a good show in the general election this year.Elaborating on his role as a poll strategist for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Kishor said that it is his duty and work to know his political opponents.
He added that Puri is union housing and urban affairs minister and this sector plays an important role in the Delhi Assembly election, so he knows him. Further, he said: “It is my way to know each and every people on the opposite side. It is my attempt to know every booth manager of BJP, but that’s Puri ji’s way to not know me.”

Mr Kishor’s Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) – a consultancy firm that has been signed on to help Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in 2020 Delhi Assembly polls.
“Hardeep Singh Puri-ji is correct. He is a senior minister. Why will he know an ordinary man like me? (But) I know him because some of the works of his department are relevant in the Assembly elections in Delhi,” Prashant Kishor said, adding that it was “correct” for Mr Puri to not know about everyone.

“Why just the ministers? We also believe in having knowledge about booth in-charges from BJP. We believe in knowing their strengths and weaknesses. Our strategies (to fight elections) are different than theirs,” he added.
He also appeared to take a swipe at the BJP over the controversial NRC (National Register of Citizens) that the central government had earlier said would be carried out nationwide; it has already been held in Assam and excluded 19 lakh people. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has already voiced his government’s opposition to the exercise.
“In Delhi lakhs of people like me… from UP, Bihar… live and struggle to make a space for themselves in the city. If a big person like Hardeep Singh Puri will try to know about such a big number of people, it will go against his status, post, and dignity. It will not suit his status,” he said.
Mr Kishor, whose wife is from Assam, has been fiercely critical of the NRC and the equally controversial amendments to the citizenship law that it was “discriminatory not only on the basis of the religion but also on the basis of the class”.
(With input from ANI).

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