Prashant Kishore,
India’s premier poll strategist and the man at the forefront of IPAC (Indian
Political Action Committee), doesn’t think that the results of the five
legislative assemblies are indicative of what’s to come in 2024. Responding to
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark that the 2022 results are giving a
glimpse of the 2024 outcome, Kishore said this is Modi’s way of establishing a
psychological advantage over the opposition.

“Battle for India
will be fought and decided in 2024 and not in any state elections. Saheb knows
this! Hence this clever attempt to create frenzy around state results to
establish a decisive psychological advantage over opposition. Don’t fall apart
or be part of this false narrative,” Kishore said after the BJP won the Assembly
elections in four of the five states that went to polls.

The Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP) did extraordinarily well in the Assembly polls. In Uttar
, India’s biggest state by population size, the BJP won 273 out of 403
seats. While this meant a drop of 49 seats from the 2017 elections, the win was
extremely significant because UP is a state that hardly, if ever, returns and
incumbent government to power.

Also Read | In UP drubbing, Akhilesh Yadav sees a silver lining

Similar, or rather
more dramatic, was the victory in Uttarakhand. The hill state on the foothills
of the Himalayas almost never returns a sitting government to power in the Assembly.
But, bucking all trends, the BJP secured a comfortable majority in Uttarakhand
winning 47 out of 70 seats.

In Goa and
Manipur, two of the tiniest states in contest, BJP managed to do extremely
well. In Manipur, the BJP secured 32 seats, one above the majority mark while
in Goa
, which was any way disposed to deliver a hung verdict, it secured 20
seats, just one short of majority and one that the BJP will have no problem
obtaining through support from independents.

Also Read | ‘Bulldozer Baba’ flattens cycle en route to power in Uttar Pradesh

After the results
were announced, Narendra Modi, addressing a victory gathering at the BJP
headquarters in Delhi, said, “Many people had said the fate of the 2019 general
election was decided when the 2017 Uttar Pradesh election result was declared.
All I can say is that the same thought applies now too…the 2024 general
election result can be seen in the result of the 2022 UP election.”

This is the
statement to which Prashant Kishore took issue. Kishore, often referred to as
PK, rose to prominence in 2014 when he helped Narendra Modi craft his poll
campaign. Subsequently, he switched sides to the opposition table and worked
with Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, MK Stalin’s DMK as well as the Congress.

Even ahead of the
Assembly poll results, Kishore, in a series of interviews to various news
networks had said the results will have no bearing on the 2024 Lok Sabha polls
outcome. Just like the Congress’ sweep of Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, and
Akhilesh’s UP victory in 2012 had no impact on the outcome of the 2014 election
when Narendra Modi came to power, Kishore explained, according to an NDTV