Punjab Chief Minister's Office has categorically stated that poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who has been appointed as Captain Amarinder Singh's principal advisor ahead of the Assembly polls in the state, has no decision-making authority. "His (Kishor’s) role as my principal advisor is limited. It is only advisory in nature, with no decision-making authority vested in him," Singh was quoted as saying by the CMO.
This comes amid reports of resentment brewing in the Punjab Congress over Prashant Kishor deciding on the tickets for the polls. According to a report, Kishor has proposed to change at least 30 sitting MLAs in order to neutralize anti-incumbency in the state.
As per an Indian Express report, Kishor's proposal has not gone down well. Several leaders are questioning his authority, saying it was a prerogative of the Congress party to decide on the tickets and that the poll strategist was not an appointee of the party.
Meanwhile, Amarinder Singh has given a clarification over Kishor's involvement in deciding the tickets. "There is no question of it. Kishor has no say in the matter," Singh was quoted as saying by the CMO.
Recently, Prashant Kishor had created quite a stir after a series of audio clips recorded from an informal conversation between him and a host of journalists on Clubhouse went viral on Twitter.
In the leaked audio, Kishor is heard saying that votes (in West Bengal Assembly polls) will be cast in the name of Modi, polarisation, being a Hindu etc. "Agar vote hain toh Modi ke naam par vote hai, Hindu hone ke naam par vote hai, polarisation, Modi, Hindibhasi, SC, yeh factors hain (If there are votes, then it is in the name of Modi, being a Hindu, polarisation, Hindi speakers, SC)" said Kishor.
"Modi yahan popular hai, Hindi bhashiyo ki 1 crore se zyada vote hai, Dalit yahan par 27 per cent hai, aur woh poori tarah se BJP ke saath kahda hai (Modi is popular here. There are more than 1 crore votes of Hindi-speaking people. The state has 27 per cent Dalits who are completely with BJP)," said Kishor in the chat.
The poll strategist also touched upon the anti-incumbency factor in the state and spoke of the appeasement politics going on for the last 20 years.
Kishor, responding to BJP's claims said that the party only released a selected part of the audio. "I am glad BJP is taking my chat more seriously than words of their own leaders!? They should show courage & share the full chat instead of getting excited with selective use of parts of it. I have said this before & repeating again - BJP will not to CROSS 100 in WB. Period," he tweeted.