In 2006, when hiring professional poll-strategists like Prashant Kishor by political parties was not yet in vogue, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) deputed one of its senior leaders, K Rama Mohana Rao, to “professionally manage” the campaigns of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) for the Assam assembly elections.
Among others, it was at the behest of the TDP that a Hyderabad-based vaastu shastra expert was roped in to make some structural changes in the AGP’s Guwahati headquarters.
All this was because TDP leader and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu nurtured at that time an ambition of leading a grand alliance of regional parties. He was willing to go several extra miles to woo other regional parties to cobble together the ambitious front, which eventually failed to take off due to inherent contradictions among the potential constituents.
Regional satraps such as West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who had then severed ties with the BJP, too toyed with the idea of a grander alliance of secular forces to take on the saffron outfit in 2017.
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