Prashant Kishor resigns as Punjab CM's advisor ahead of polls
Ahead of the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections, political strategist Prashant Kishor has resigned as the Principal Advisor to state Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. There had been speculation around Kishor's resignation as he had expressed his desire to retire from strategizing after the West Bengal elections held earlier this year. Notably, the Congress party's victory in the 2017 state polls was attributed to Kishor.
CM's office has 'no idea' about Kishor's resignation
According to reports, Kishor submitted his resignation as the Punjab CM's Principal Advisor on Wednesday. However, the CM's office is yet to confirm the development. A senior official told The Indian Express that he had "no idea" about Kishor's resignation. His resignation comes as a setback to Amarinder Singh's camp. Kishor has, meanwhile, not decided a future course of action for himself, reports said.
Here's what Kishor's resignation letter said
Reportedly, Kishor's resignation letter stated, "As you are aware, in view of my decision to take a temporary break from an active role in public life, I have not been able to take over the responsibilities as your Principal Advisor." "Since I am yet to decide on my future course of action, I write to request you to kindly relieve me from this responsibility."
Kishor didn't visit Punjab after appointment
Since being appointed Punjab CM's Principal Advisor, Kishor has not visited the state. The only time he visited Singh was in Delhi before a panel led by Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge. At the time of his appointment, Singh had taken to Twitter to announce the news adding, "Look forward to working together for the betterment of the people of Punjab!"
Kishor was paid Re. 1 monthly; enjoyed other perks
Kishor was appointed in the rank of a Cabinet minister. He was working pro bono for Singh and was paid Re. 1 monthly as token honorarium. He, however, remained entitled to a government residence, half a dozen staff members, and other perks, such as free transport, free air travel, telephone, and medical facilities. He was also allotted an office in the Punjab civil secretariat.
Congress' 2017 polls win attributed to Kishor
In the 2017 Punjab Assembly elections, the Congress party managed to gain an edge against the rising popularity of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). This was credited to Kishor, despite AAP's huge traction at the time. The Congress party won 77 seats in the 117-seat Assembly. Meanwhile, the AAP won 20, while the BJP-SAD alliance had won 18 seats.