Who is Shantanu Singh? Why is he a prized catch for the TDP in Andhra Pradesh?

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BySouth First Desk

Published Dec 21, 2022 | 7:44 PM Updated Apr 09, 2023 | 6:03 PM

Shantanu Singh of STC

In an era where election strategists and poll consultants are as high profile as the politicians they serve, their comings and going also make news. Especially if it looks like a defection!

One such high-profile crossing over took place in Andhra Pradesh recently. Shantanu Singh, who was once a core member of the I-PAC team and lead of its Andhra Pradesh campaign for YSRCP, is now with the other side.

Singh quit I-PAC and has joined ShowTime Consulting (STC), run by Robbin Sharrma. STC was hired by the Opposition TDP to run its campaign and also advise it on poll strategy for the elections to the Assembly and Lok Sabha in early 2024.

An IIT-Kanpur alumnus, Singh was deeply involved in YSRCP campaign work, especially its political intelligence wing and managed campaign ops for Jagan Mohan Reddy. After YSRCP’s spectacular win in the 2019 election, he had taken a break from I-PAC to do a Master of Public Administration at Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

After his return from Singapore, he rejoined I-PAC and, until March this year, was busy handling YSRCP work.

Clearly, he has a wealth of information that the TDP would love to get its hands on.

“Don’t know what transpired. But he joined STC. He was deeply involved in the YSRCP campaign from 2017 —right from preparing reports to feedback on the candidates of Assembly and parliament constituencies,” a former associate of Shantanu Singh told South First.

“We will know if Singh is a prized catch for STC or not in the coming days — especially after the 2024 election results are out. But for now, momentum is totally building up on both sides,” he added.

Notably, Singh was taken at a “director” level position by STC boss Robbin Sharrma.

Days after its disastrous showing in the 2019 elections, TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh sought professional to help steer the party to victory in the 2024 polls.

STC was hired by TDP long ago — probably its stint with the TDP is the longest any consulting firm has had with any political party in the country. Typically, such firms are hired or engaged two or three years before the elections.

STC’s work also appears to be finding some traction. It’s campaigns Badhude Badhudu and now Idhem Kharma Mana Rashtraniki are being viewed as a success by the TDP leadership.