New Delhi: With the historic mandate in Karnataka, Congress strategist for the southern state, Sunil Kanugolu has now been tasked to bring similar results in Madhya Pradesh, people familiar with the development said.
Kanugolu was brought into Congress fold in May last year and since then he has worked as a strategist for the party and was responsible for preparing surveys, campaigning, deciding candidates, and winning strategy in Karnataka, and his work played a crucial role.
Kanugolu was also responsible for supporting Bharat Jodo Yatra-led by Rahul Gandhi, which he kick-started from Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari on September 7 last year.
According to party leaders, Kanugolu, who stays mostly behind the scene, prepared strategy for each Assembly seat in the southern state.
Release of rate card, pay-CM and much more
His strategy was to corner the BJP and JD(S) so that Karnataka's contest does not become triangular and it worked in favour of the party. He and his team continuously gave support to all the candidates with facts to counter the charges of the other parties.
According to party leaders, Kanugolu was responsible for Congress campaigns against the BJP like release of rate card, pay-CM, 40 per cent commission sarkar and at the end of the campaign 'cryPM' after Priyanka Gandhi Vadra targeted Modi for personal attacks on her family while counting abuses on him by other party leaders.
Kanugolu, who had earlier worked with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of the BJP's campaign, had also worked with election strategist Prashant Kishor in 2014 before parting ways. He had worked for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh and is said to have played a key role in the resounding victory of Yogi Adityanath in 2017.
Following the victory in Karnataka, the Congress has now tasked Kanugolu for Madhya Pradesh, where the party even after winning in 2018 Assembly polls lost power in 2020 after rebellion by Jyotidaritya Scindia, a close confidante of Rahul Gandhi.
Congress trying to corner Shivraj government
With elections in Madhya Pradesh just a few months away and former Chief Ministers Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh both working tirelessly, Kanugolu has been asked to prepare a Karnataka like targeted campaign to corner the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in the central state.
With the experience of veteran party leader J.P. Agarwal, who is currently working as state in-charge of Madhya Pradesh, both Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh have till now been focusing on grassroots.
According to the party leaders, Singh has been holding the party's fort in the Assembly constituencies while Kamal Nath has been strengthening the party district wise.
The party leader said, "With the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government grappling with internal fights due to several factions, Kanugolu has been tasked to counter the same."
The party leader also pointed out that several factions in BJP, which includes that of Kailash Vijayvargiya, Scindia, Chouhan, Narrotam Mishra among others, is only helping the Congress as it has till now presented a united face in the state.
Kanugolu has also been tasked to identify the failure of the BJP government in the state on issues of law and order, failure of government schemes and allegations of corruption.
The party source said that with Kanugolu's previous successes, the party is hopeful that under his guidance for campaigning and surveys, the grand old party will once again taste victory in the state, which has remained a stronghold of BJP in the last two decades.
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