Ahead of the crucial Bhabanipur bypoll in West Bengal, which will see Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee contest to enter the state Assembly, it has emerged that political strategist Prashant Kishor has registered himself as a voter in the legislative constituency. He was earlier a voter in his native village in Bihar’s Sasaram district.
It has come to light that Mr Kishor, who helped Ms Banerjee and her party, the Trinamool Congress, retain power with a thumping performance in the recent Assembly polls, had registered himself there — which also makes him a Kolkata South Lok Sabha constituency voter — even before that election. In fact, he even voted there in April-May.
“He made the shift,” according to sources, “in view of apprehensions that the BJP might attempt to coerce the Election Commission to get him out of Kolkata amid the Assembly elections.”
“With his camping in Kolkata as campaigner, the BJP could go to the Election Commission to complain and ask how he continues to stay on as polling was spread across several phases even in individual districts.”
Mr Kishor has provided his “care of” address as that of Abhishek Banerjee, Trinamool leader and the Chief Minister’s nephew, with whom he used to stay during Covid lockdown.
Backed by Mr Kishor and his Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), Ms Banerjee won 213 of the 292 seats despite the BJP mounting a no-holds barred, and often vitriolic campaign, to win power in a state it has never ruled.
It was reported in June that the Trinamool Congress had extended its contract with I-PAC to 2026.