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Who is Sunil Kanugolu, New Strategist Hired by Cong Ahead of Karnataka Polls?

He is known to have been formerly associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaigns.

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As the election buzz begins to wash over the coastal town of Karnataka, ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections, the Congress party has handed the responsibility of strategising for their party in the state to Sunil Kanugolu, chief of Hyderabad-based Mindshare Analytics.

But Kanugolu has not always been a Congress man. In fact, he is known to have been formerly associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaigns ahead of both the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, as well as the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections (2017). He even headed the Association of Brilliant Minds (ABM) – the BJP’s personalised campaign organisation.

With experience in strategising over a dozen elections for national and regional parties, Kanugolu, who is not even 40-years-old yet, has a career spanning nearly a decade. According to media reports, he has even crossed paths and worked (in 2014) with celebrated political strategist Prashant Kishor.

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More About Kanugolu

But unlike Kishor, Kanugolu is known to be a recluse and has no official social media presence – not even a photograph in the public domain that can be ascribed to him with certainty.

Born in Karnataka’s Ballari district, where he studied till middle school, Kanugolu also went on to live in Chennai, before relocating to Karnataka (Bengaluru).

Apart from the BJP, Kanugolu has also been engaged in campaigns for the DMK, the Akali Dal, the AIADMK. Besides the Congress in the Karnataka Assembly elections, Kanugolu will be working with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the Andhra Pradesh polls.

Background

In June 2019, several members of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly had resigned, leading to the fall of the UPA government (comprising of the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress Party) in the state. Thereby, the BJP had gone on to form the government in the state, appointing BS Yediyurappa as the chief minister.

In July 2021, however, Yediyurappa resigned and Basavaraj Bommai was sworn in as the new chief minister.

The 2023 elections in Karnataka are expected to be held on or before the month of May.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Karnataka Congress 

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