TMC big Kolkata rally: With Prashant Kishor at work, Mamata eyes image makeover to win back voters

Trinamool Kolkata rally: The Trinamool Congress is set to organise its annual rally on Sunday, July 21, which is observed as Martyrs Day in remembrance of the 1993 police firing, in Kolkata. Mamata Banerjees mega show of strength attains much importance this time as the rally is the first such gathering being organised by the Trinamool Congress after the shocking Lok Sabha election results. The Kolkata rally will also mark the first big public interaction by Mamata since she roped in poll strategist Prashant Kishor to help her in charting out the way for next Bengal Assembly elections scheduled for 2021. TMC leaders have been boasting that this years July 21 rally will be the biggest the party has ever organised, it will be interesting to see whether Mamata shifts her strategy to win back voters who seem to withering away from the party. The Prashant Kishor effect After suffering a huge blow in the recent Lok Sabha elections in which the TMC could manage to win just 22 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party walked away with 18, a jittery Mamata Banerjee dialled Prashant Kishor, the master strategist who has helped Narendra Modi, Nitish Kumar, Amarinder Singh and more recently Jagan Mohan Reddy script mega poll success. Can Kishor do it for Mamata as well? Well, the work has already begun and results would only be available in 2021. Prashant Kishor has held a series of meetings with Mamata Banerjee in past weeks. While the TMC leaders have been tighlipped about the details of the meetings, the shift in partys strategy is evident. Mamatas appeasement politics has given the BJP a big rope in West Bengal and its repercussions were seen in the Lok Sabha elections. Kishor aims to change that. A report in The Quint quoted a TMC minister as saying that the idea of newly elected MP Nusrat Jahan beginning her oath in Parliament with Assalamu Alaikum and concluding it with Vande Mataram and Jai Bangla was actually Prashant Kishors idea. Last month, Mamata Banerjee issued a warning to party leaders against taking cut money from government schemes or face jail. The Trinamool supremo has long been denying rampant corruption in the party and her government, however, her sudden acceptance of the dirty fact clearly points that Kishor has started his ground work in Bengal. Reports also claim that Kishor has told the Trinamool leadership avoid political violence as it triggers resentment among people for the ruling dispensation. Also Read: Cut money row: Protests against TMC leaders across Bengal The fight for 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal is still a couple of years ago and after the Lok Sabha poll results, the BJP believes that it can dethrone Mamata Banerjee. But can the saffron party outclass its known nemesis – Prashant Kishor?