Ahead of the crucial Bhabanipur poll in West Bengal, which will see Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee run for the State Assembly, it emerged that political strategist Prashant Kishor has registered as a voter in the legislative constituency. He was previously a voter in his native village in Sasaram district, Bihar.
It appeared that Mr Kishor, who helped Ms Banerjee and her party, the Trinamool Congress, retain power with a meteoric performance in recent Assembly polls, had signed up – which also makes him a voter from the Kolkata South Lok Sabha constituency – even before this election. In fact, he even voted there in April-May.
“He made the switch,” sources said, “because of fears the BJP might try to coerce the Election Commission out of Kolkata in the middle of the Assembly elections.”
“With its camp in Kolkata as an activist, the BJP could go to the electoral commission to complain and ask how it continues to stay while the ballot has spanned several phases, even in individual districts. “
Mr Kishor provided his ‘care’ address as that of Abhishek Banerjee, head of Trinamool and nephew of the chief minister, with whom he used to stay during the Covid lockdown.
Supported by Mr Kishor and his Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), Ms Banerjee won 213 of the 292 seats despite the BJP waging a merciless, and often vitriolic, campaign to seize power in a state that he never ruled.
It was reported in June that the Trinamool Congress had extended his contract with I-PAC until 2026.