Arvind Kejriwal Ropes in Prashant Kishor’s I-PAC in Quest to Return as Delhi CM Two Months Before Polls

New Delhi: Taking a cue from Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal has roped in election strategist Prashant Kishor’s political consultancy firm I-PAC in his quest to return as Delhi CM for the second consecutive term next year.

“Happy to share that @indianpac is coming on-board with us. Welcome aboard!” Kejriwal tweeted on Saturday morning.

Polls to the 70-member Assembly are likely to be held early next year with the contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC), Citizenship Amendment Act, air pollution, women’s safety, and statehood demand for Delhi likely to dominate the election narrative.

Currently the vice-president of Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), a BJP ally, Kishor had shot to political limelight in 2014 after formulating a successful election strategy for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He subsequently ran successful campaigns for JD(U) in 2015 Bihar elections, for Congress in 2017 Punjab polls and for Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh this year.

The Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) is currently working on the Trinamool Congress' re-election campaign for the 2021 West Bengal Assembly polls to aid Mamata Banerjee's bid for a third consecutive term.

Interestingly, both of I-PAC’s latest clients, Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal, have been strongly opposing the implementation of NRC and the Citizenship Amendment Act, an issue Kishor himself has been vocal about in recent days.

On Thursday, Kishor said that the onus of saving the soul of India lies with the 16 non-BJP chief ministers who have to operationalise the amended Citizenship Act. He had even urged his party chief and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to reconsider this support for NRC and the Citizenship Act.

After the JD(U) supported the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament, he again took to Twitter and said: "Disappointed to see JD-U supporting CAB that discriminates right of citizenship on the basis of religion. It's incongruous with the party's constitution that carries the word secular thrice on the very first page and the leadership that is supposedly guided by Gandhian ideals.”

Kishor had acknowledged the AAP as his “toughest opponent yet” when I-PAC teamed up with the Congress for Punjab elections, a sentiment repeated by the firm on Saturday in reply to Kejriwal’s tweet.

With barely two months to go for the Delhi Assembly election, this might be the shortest window yet for I-PAC to deliver results.