Many people are familiar with poll strategist Prashant Kishor, but there is a new name in the political world. Sunil Kanugolu, the man chosen by Congress to lead the party’s strategy in Karnataka ahead of the 2023 state elections.
Who is Sunil Kanugolu?
Sunil Kanugolu was born in Ballari district, where he studied till middle school, Sunil also went on to live in Chennai, before relocating to Bengaluru. But unlike Prashant Kishor, Sunil Kanugolu is known to be a low profile and has no official social media presence and there are very few photographs in the public domain that can be positively attributed to him. Kanugolu has perfected his image as an elusive big-gun poll strategist tucked away from the limelight.
His reluctance to public recognition is so strong that there are no images of him on the internet. Many people mistake his brother Sushil’s photo for Kanugolu’s.
“The decision to remain out of the public eye might be boiled down to two factors. For one thing, he comes from McKinsey, which discourages workers from publicly sharing their ideas and opinions about the firm, its clients, or politics.”
“Secondly, our duty as backroom strategists is to let the client take credit and shine, rather than putting ourselves in the spotlight.”
According to another source, Kanugolu’s anonymity has allowed him to conduct polls without interruption.
“Even if he enters into a room full of ambitious candidates and conducts surveys for their selection, he is barely recognised. That implies there will be less intervention and attempts to sway findings, according to the source.
He is only 40 years old, has already planned more than a dozen elections for national and regional parties. He has worked with more than a dozen chief ministers during the course of his roughly ten-year tenure.
Kanugolu, like Kishor, has been a sought-after election campaigner for the BJP, DMK, and now the Congress in Karnataka.
But Kanugolu has not always been a Congress man. He was formerly affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaigns for both the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections (2017). He even led the BJP’s personal campaign organisation, the Association of Brilliant Minds (ABM).
Kanugolu, who is still only 40 years old, has a career spanning nearly a decade and has experience strategizing for over a dozen elections for national and regional parties. He even crossed paths and worked with famed political strategist Prashant Kishor (in 2014), according to media sources.
Kanugolu has worked on campaigns for the DMK, the Akali Dal, and the AIADMK in addition to the BJP. Kanugolu will work alongside the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the Andhra Pradesh elections, in addition to the Congress in the Karnataka Assembly elections.