New Delhi: Two months after his thumping electoral success in Bihar, chief minister Nitish Kumar has rewarded political strategist Prashant Kishor, the architect of his campaign, by naming him as his advisor for planning and programme implementation.

According to a notification issued by the principal secretary of Bihar’s cabinet coordination department on Thursday, Kishor would have the status equivalent to a cabinet minister in the state.

Kishor’s brief is to look for ways to implement Kumar’s seven-point agenda, which include expanding access to higher education, and improving electricity, road connectivity and sanitation in the state. Equipping the young with job skills and widening employment opportunities, and reservations for women in government jobs are other key elements of the agenda.

“Yes, he is close to Nitish Kumar and has been rewarded for all that he has done for the party. He deserved to be the advisor to Kumar as he played a great role in our election victory in Bihar," said Bashistha Narain Singh, president of the Bihar unit of Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), or JD (U).

Kishor played a key role in Kumar’s election campaign, devising several communication strategies including Har Ghar Dastak (knock on every door), which helped JD (U) candidates reach out directly to voters in the eastern state.

Kumar was elected chief minister for a third consecutive time, after the JD (U), in alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, triumphed in the elections.

“The main thing is that his help would be sought to implement the seven-point agenda of Nitish Kumar for Bihar’s development which includes the promise of electrification, toilets and drinking water," a leader of the JDU said, requesting anonymity.

A native of Bihar, Kishor worked as a health expert in the past with the United Nations in Africa and was associated with Narendra Modi’s successful 2014 general election campaign that led to victory for the National Democratic alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

A professional political strategist, Kishor was being pursued actively by the Congress to take charge of its election campaign for next year’s assembly elections in Punjab.

There has also been speculation that Kishor could be asked to come on board for the Congress’ campaign for the upcoming election in Assam. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday ruled it out, saying the campaign would be handled by the party’s state team.

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