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Sunday, July 14th, 2024

The election story is interesting… Who wrote the script for Chandrababu Naidu’s return in Andhra?

New Delhi: Six months before the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu had made an emotional appeal to the people, saying that either they bring his/her party to power or he/she would retire from politics. An emotional Naidu in Kurnool had said that only if you send me (and my party) to the Assembly, there will be development in Andhra Pradesh. Otherwise this will be my last election. Then people thought that the political career of the 74-year-old TDP chief was about to end. They were unaware that Naidu’s party was going to perform its best ever in the 2024 elections.

Wrote the script for Naidu’s victory
The remarkable turnaround in Andhra Pradesh brought Naidu back to power with a massive majority, winning 135 of the 175 seats. his/her party had been reduced to just 23 seats in the 2019 elections. The senior politician is being lauded for leading the party’s revival in the state, but the inside story is that skilled election strategist Robin Sharma played a key role in scripting the TDP’s dramatic turnaround.

Robin Sharma is a disciple of Prashant Kishor, the poster boy of election strategist in India, who is credited with strategizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign in 2014. Interestingly, when Show Time Consultancy (STC) led by Robin took up the task of reviving the TDP’s sagging credibility in the state, his/her critics ridiculed it. But, the election results not only silenced the critics but also gave a big jolt to the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy camp. The strategy for Jagan’s camp was formulated by another disciple of Prashant Kishor, Rishi Raj Singh.

Also played an important role in AAP’s victory in Punjab
Some of the notable campaigns included Idhem Kharma Man Rashtriki, Bhadude Badhudu, Praja Galaam, Super Six and Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh’s padayatra called Yuva Galaam. This is not the first victory achieved by Robin’s STC, formed after breaking away from Prashant Kishor-led I-PAC. Robin’s team also worked with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) during the 2022 Punjab elections and ran an innovative campaign. This resulted in the novice party winning a historic victory in the state while the veterans were forced to bite the dust. As per reports, he/she also coined a popular campaign song for the AAP, Ek Mauka Kejriwal Nu, Ek Mauka Bhagwant Maan Nu.

For those unaware, Robin and Rishi worked together at Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG). This is the organisation that helped bring the BJP to power in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. CAG was founded by Prashant Kishor ahead of the 2014 elections. A year after the elections, both Robin and Rishi formed I-PAC with Prashant Kishor as founding members. After some time, they broke ties with I-PAC and started their own political consulting firm called Showtime Consulting (STC).

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