Robbin Sharrma, the man who scripted the return of Naidu in Andhra

Six months before the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu had made an impassioned appeal to the people, to either vote his party to power or else he would retire from politics. 

"If you send me (and my party) to the Assembly, only then will Andhra Pradesh see development. Else, this will be my last election," an emotional Naidu had said in Kurnool.

Then, the people anticipated that the TDP chief in his 70s was on his way out and heading for an end of his political career. However, little did they know that the 2024 elections would record best-ever performance by Naidu's party.

The remarkable turnaround in Andhra Pradesh saw Naidu back at the helm with a whopping mandate, winning 135 out of 175 seats. In 2019 polls, he was reduced to just 23 seats. Readmore!

The veteran politician is being lauded for party’s resurgence in the state but the inside story is that Robbin Sharrma, a proven election strategist played a pivotal role in scripting TDP's dramatic turnaround.

Robbin Sharrma is a protege of Prashant Kishor, the poster boy of India's election consultancy and credited for strategising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's campaign in 2014.

Interestingly, when Robbin-led Show Time Consultancy (STC) took up the task of reviving TDP's sagging fortunes in the state, his critics mocked at the partnership. But, the election results not only silenced the critics but also dealt a major blow to the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy camp, whose strategy was mapped by Rishi Raj Singh, another protege of Prashant Kishor.

TDP-led alliance swept the state by winning 164 out of 175 seats and probably marked the biggest ever victory in any state, with 94 per cent strike rate.

Robbin Sharrma-led STC devised a series of campaigns for TDP to develop 'fresh connect' with public.

Some of the notable campaigns included Idhem Kharma Mana Rashtraniki, Bhadude Badhudu, Praja Galam, Super Six and Naidu's son Nara Lokesh's padyatra named Yuva Galam.

This is not a one-off victory pulled off by Robbin's STC, formed after parting ways with Prashant Kishor-led I-PAC.

Robbin's team also worked with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) during 2022 Punjab elections and mounted an innovative campaign which resulted in historic victory for the greenhorn party while the veterans were forced to bite the dust in the state. According to reports, he also coined a popular campaign song for AAP, "Ik Mauka Kejriwal Nu, Ik Mauka Bhagwant Mann Nu".

For the unversed, Robbin and Rishi, worked together at Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG), the organisation that helped bring BJP to power in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

CAG was founded by Prashant Kishor before 2014 polls. A year later after the polls, both Robbin and Rishi formed I-PAC with Kishor, as founding members.

Sometime later, he parted ways with I-PAC and started his political consultancy firm named ShowTime Consulting (STC).

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