Showtime, the brain behind Telugu Desam’s landslide win

From winning 23 Assembly and three Parliament seats in 2019 to bagging more than 136 Assembly and 16 Parliament constituencies, Robbin Sharma’s Showtime Consulting has played a crucial role in the party’s comeback.
TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu during Praja Galam meet at Darsi
TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu during Praja Galam meet at Darsi File photo I Express

VIJAYAWADA: A three-pronged strategy which included formulating a thorough plan to rebuild the Telugu Desam Party, energise the cadre and establish a direct communication network is what seems to have worked for the yellow party.

From winning 23 Assembly and three Parliament seats in 2019 to bagging more than 136 Assembly and 16 Parliament constituencies, Robbin Sharma’s Showtime Consulting has played a crucial role in the party’s comeback.

Following the crushing defeat that the TDP faced in 2019, Robbin Sharrma, in the same year, began working with party supremo N Chandrababu to bridge the gaps within the party and strengthen it.

Showtime was founded by Robbin with Shantanu Singh as one of the directors and head of operations. It is pertinent to note that Robbin, noted election strategist Prashant Kishor, Rishi Raj Singh and Sunil Kanugolu had co-founded I-PAC, which was behind YSRC’s massive victory in 2019.

As part of TDP’s winning strategy, the political consultancy firm worked towards identifying the discontent that was brewing among the people against the ruling YSRC and turned that into support for the yellow party. Focus was then shifted to securing an electoral win to motivate the cadre.

The victory in the MLC elections did the job. Following this, Showtime representatives say, 24-hour war room with 200 members was set up around three to four months before the elections to establish a central communication system so as to ensure that the party’s narrative is disseminated efficiently to the public. The idea, they explain, was to motivate the cadre and ensure they don’t work in silos. The cadre that the party has and the people whom candidates were appointing in every constituency in their respective offices were made part of the Assembly war room.

They took care of the operational and political aspects of the campaign, including handling the media and social media. This allowed partymen to quickly detect any issue on the ground, get inputs from the stakeholders, chart out a strategy with the guidance of senior leaders and then take it to each and every voter through political rallies and by setting media narratives. This was the same strategy that was used to highlight the Land Titling Act in the final days of the TDP campaign.

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