A strategist in mentor’s footsteps


Is Sunil Kanugolu, the new kid on the block in the political strategist universe, following in the footsteps of his senior, Prashant Kishore? Kishore prepared the communication strategy for the victory of the BJP and many other parties, and after doing the same with Janata Dal (U) in Bihar, he was close to Nitish Kumar and joined the party as its national vice president in 2018. Two years later, he was expelled from the party and later formed his own party in Bihar. Kanogolu, popularly known as Sunil K, was with Kishore in 2014 and worked for many BJP campaigns, including the one in UP in 2017, and since then has worked for mainly non-BJP parties. Now he has joined the Congress in Karnataka after scripting the party’s huge win in the Assembly election. He has been made Chief Advisor by Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah. It remains to be seen if the similarities end here.

After Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the BJP member of the Lok Sabha from Kaiserganj, another BJP MP, Subrat Pathak, is in the crosshairs of the police. While Singh, a six-term MP known for his aggressive brand of politics, continues to be the subject of a police investigation into the case of alleged molestation of a minor, Pathak has been charged with attacking a police outpost for forcing the release of some persons arrested in the case. Pathak had come into the limelight when he defeated Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav’s wife, Dimple Yadav, from Kannauj in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. He has risen from the ranks of the BJP youth wing, and this is the second case lodged against him in the last three years.

Income tax raids on the premises of some real estate companies in Lucknow and elsewhere over the last few days have come out with a Maharashtra connection, involving a leader of the Shiv Sena (UBT). The intricate web has hawala operators, shell companies, and money laundering operations spread over many states. A prominent hawala operator said to have been on the run for a long time is said to be involved in the case. The raids on the Lucknow premises caused quite a stir, and along with further details, a political war of statements and counter-allegations is also awaited.