Who is Sunil Kanugolu, Congress's political strategist for Karnataka election | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Who is Sunil Kanugolu, Congress's political strategist for Karnataka election

By | Edited by Aryan Prakash
May 15, 2023 01:12 PM IST

Sunil Kanugolu is now poised to lead the party's election management efforts in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress in Karnataka achieved a stunning victory in the assembly elections held on May 10, winning a total of 135 assembly seats out of 224. The grand old party had roped in poll strategist Sunil Kanugolu, who has been working with the Congress party in the state since last year.

Sunil Kanugolu with DK Shivakumar
Sunil Kanugolu with DK Shivakumar

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With an eye towards the future, Kanugolu is now poised to lead the party's election management efforts in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. HT first reported Kanugolu's move to join the Congress in early April.

Who is Suni Kanugolu?

Sunil Kanugolu was born in Karnataka's Ballari district, from where he completed his middle school education. Later, he lived in Chennai before relocating to Bengaluru, as reported by The Quint.

According to local media reports, despite being originally a Telugu speaker, Kanugolu has roots in Karnataka who now resides in Bengaluru.

He has worked for the BJP, DMK, and AIADMK in the past. He was also behind the aspects of Tamil pride and the Dravidian model during the Jallikattu protests of 2017, helping the DMK counter the aggressive BJP, as reported by local media.

Also Read | Congress’ victory in Karnataka triggers speculation on TMC’s strategy for 2024

Sunil Kanugolu with Congress

After Prashant Kishor declined the Congress's offer to join the party on April 26 last year, Sunil Kanugolu was brought on board to help with the party's election strategy for various elections across India.

Last year in May, Kanugolu was appointed as a member of the Task Force 2024, a team created by the Congress to execute the Nav Sankalp (New Resolution) declaration adopted in Udaipur. Apart from Kanugolu, the team consists of prominent leaders such as P Chidambaram, Mukul Wasnik, Jairam Ramesh, K C Venugopal, Ajay Maken, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and Randeep Singh Surjewala.

The poll-strategist has also been credited with planning Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra, a march that covered a length of over 4,000 km from the southern tip of India to Jammu and Kashmir. The yatra is believed to have been an instrumental move by the grand old party that lead to some recent turning points in election results.

Following his successful work for the Karnataka assembly election, Kanugolu has reportedly established an office in Madhya Pradesh where he is slated to work for the state's election, according to news agency PTI report.

His past assignments

Sunil Kanugolu was earlier a part of Prashant Kishor’s team that played a crucial role in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election campaign in 2014. In addition, he was instrumental in BJP's election campaigns in several states such as Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, and Karnataka, which the BJP won.

Kanugolu is a highly sought-after pollster and had founded the Association of Brilliant Minds (ABM), which was BJP's campaign body for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections. He is known to have worked for the BJP in UP and is believed to have played a key role in BJP's resounding victory in 2017, according to party leaders.

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