Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday announced that political strategist Prashant Kishor has joined him as his principal advisor.

“Happy to share that Prashant Kishor has joined me as my principal advisor,” Singh tweeted. “Look forward to working together for the betterment of the people of Punjab!”

The development assumes significance as the Punjab Assembly elections are due early next year. During the 2017 polls, Kishor had handled the Congress’ poll campaign and helped the party win 77 seats in the 117-member Assembly. He formulated Punjab Congress programmes like “Coffee with Captain” and “Punjab Da Captain” to garner support for the party.

The chief minister’s office in a tweet said Kishor would get the rank and status of a Cabinet minister, along with the associated perks of the post.

Kishor told NDTV that offer to join Singh as his principal advisor had been on the table for the past year. “I can’t say no to him,” the poll strategist said, adding that the chief minister is “like family”.

Kishor’s company, Indian Political Action Committee, is currently assisting Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in the West Bengal elections that is scheduled to be held over a record eight phases starting March 27.