Hometown: Bellary, Karnataka
Education: Bachelor Of Technology (B.Tech)
Profession: Political Strategist, Tactician
|Political Strategist, Tactician
|Man of Ideas NDTV
|Physical Stats & More
|in centimeters- 168 cm
in meters- 1.68 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 6”
|in kilograms- 70 kg
in pounds- 155 lbs
|Date of Birth
|• Source 1: 1982 NDTV
• Source 2: 1983 The Quint
|Age (as of 2023)
|• Source 1: 41 Years
• Source 2: 40 Years
|Bellary, Karnataka, India
|Bellary, Karnataka, India
|• Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
• New York University, New York, USA
|• Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech)
• Masters in Finance (MS)
• Master of Business Administration (MBA) The Quint
|Police raids over alleged derogatory posts against Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao
In 2022, the Hyderabad Police raided Kanugolu's office over alleged derogatory posts shared on social media against the Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, the ruling BRS government, and Rao's family. They seized various electronic devices used by his team. The petition against Sunil was filed after a parody video posted on the Facebook page Telangana Galam went viral. The video footage was from the Telugu classic film Mayabazar in which the makers edited and added the images of the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, his daughter, the then Member of Legislative Council who represented the Nizamabad constituency in the Telangana Legislative Council, K. Kavitha and his son, and the then Minister for Information Technology, Electronics and Communications, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Industries and Commerce, K. T. Rama Rao. Three staffers, who were working at the time in the office, were taken into police custody after the raids but were later let off. The Indian Express Sunil was named as an accused in the charge sheet filed by the police. On 24 November 2022, he was charged under Sections 469 and 505(2) of the IPC and was served a notice under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Later, he submitted a petition in the Telangana High Court to nullify the FIR registered against him and also the notice issued under Section 41A of the CrPC; however, the High Court rejected his appeal on 3 January 2023 and ordered him to appear before the Hyderabad Police and assist them with the investigation process, the Court also ordered the Hyderabad Police not to use any coercive measures against him. He appeared before the police for questioning on 9 January 2023 along with Congress leader Anil Kumar Yadav. They interrogated him for nearly three hours and recorded his statement. While being questioned by the police, the pollster stated he was not linked with the video and refuted the allegations that it was made under his instructions to defame the family of the chief minister. Some reports suggested that he informed the police that he worked from Delhi and was not personally involved with the operations at the office of Congress' election war room in Madhapur, Hyderabad. He pointed out that the works done at the Congress' election war room office in Madhapur, Hyderabad, were spearheaded by the then Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee senior vice president Mallu Ravi. Kanugolu refused to comment to the media who were waiting for him outside the police station; however, the TPCC and AICC lambasted the raids and accused that the ruling party was restraining democracy in the state and stated that the ruling party was afraid of losing in the upcoming polls and shifted their focus to intimidate the opposition parties from raising the problems of the common folk.
|Relationships & More
|Brother- Sushil Kanugolu (businessman)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Sunil Kanugolu
- Sunil Kanugolu is an Indian political strategist and tactician. In April 2022, he accepted the offer to oversee the election campaigns for the Indian National Congress party ahead of the legislative assembly elections in various states of India. In May 2022, Sonia Gandhi announced that he was a member of Congress’ 2024 Lok Sabha polls task force.
- Although he was born in Bellary, Karnataka, to a Kannadiga father and a Telugu mother, Kanugolu was raised by his parents in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- He shifted from New York to Chennai, Tamil Nadu, in 2009. Before he started working as a political strategist in Indian politics, he worked with the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. NDTV
- His brother, Sushil Kanugolu, was the founder and CEO of Fipola, the modern meat retail company launched in 2016.
- Some reports suggested that he worked closely with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2010. Later, he reportedly worked with Modi during the 2012 Gujarat Legislative Assembly election. Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Sunil worked closely with Prashant Kishor and was his trusted member. Under Prashant’s strategic campaigning, Modi’s Lok Sabha election became an instant success, and the BJP recorded a massive victory.
- Following the BJP’s landslide victory in the 2014 Indian general election, his services were extensively used by the BJP in several Indian states such as Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, and Karnataka; they emerged victorious under his campaign strategies in each of the states.
- In 2016, he created the Association of Brilliant Minds (ABMs) ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly election. ABM conducted surveys, voter profiling of constituencies, and strategised the election campaign for the BJP accordingly. The BJP recorded a huge victory in the election; however, in 2018 he broke away from the ABM.
— NDTV (@ndtv) March 11, 2017
- In 2017, according to some reports, during the Jallikattu protests, he helped the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) counter the BJP with the ideas of Tamil pride and the Dravidian model. Sunil closely worked with the Tamil Nadu chief minister M. K. Stalin and personally oversaw the ‘Namakku Naame’ (We Are for Ourselves) campaign; the campaign helped Stalin cement his position as a popular figure in state politics. DMK candidates won every seat they contested in the 2019 national election, and he was widely praised for his stellar strategies.
— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) October 11, 2015
- Kanugolu closely worked with the then-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party Amit Shah between 2014 and February 2018. The Indian Express
- Later, he discontinued his services for the DMK party and accepted a proposal from the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) to assist them in the 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election. Some reports suggested that he fell out of favour with Stalin after the latter chose to consult Prashant Kishor for the legislative assembly election. He conveyed his displeasure about the decision and informed the party that he couldn’t work alongside Kishor and opted to end the deal with DMK. AIADMK won 66 seats in the 2021 legislative assembly election.
- Kanugolu has held directorship in three companies namely SR Independent Fisheries Pvt Ltd, SR Naturo Foods Pvt Ltd and Brainstorm Innovation, and Research Pvt Ltd (BSIR).
- Some reports suggested that in 2022 the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) entered into a deal with him, and he briefly worked for them during the 2022 Punjab Legislative Assembly election; SAD performed poorly and won just three seats.
- The INC leadership first met with the pollster in 2021 and after lengthy discussions and meetings, he joined the party in May 2022. Sunil Kanugolu came on board with the Congress party after Prashant Kishor snubbed the Congress’ offer to join the party on 26 April 2022. Kanugolu’s main task was to help and work on the party’s election strategy for different elections which were to be held in various parts of the country.
- According to some reports, Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra which took place between 7 September 2022 and 30 January 2023 was masterminded by Sunil.
- Unlike many other strategists, he has no official social media presence and was spotted rarely on the mainstream media. Some reports suggested that he prefers working as a backroom strategist over enjoying the limelight in the centre stage or giving away his opinions. Some media houses wrongfully uploaded the picture of his brother, Sushil Kanugolu, in place of him; however, he never came forward and corrected them. In May 2023, a former colleague of Kanugolu shared a post on social media and pointed out that the picture used by many popular media was that of Sunil’s brother.
- Despite the frequent visits of PM Modi, Amit Shah, JP Nadda and other prominent BJP-RSS leaders during the election campaign for the 2023 legislative assembly election in Karnataka, the Congress under his strategic campaigning recorded a huge victory. The PayCm campaign and 40% Commission Sarkara campaign were created by him; both these campaigns were successful during the election campaign.
- On 31 May 2023, he was appointed Chief Advisor to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with the rank of a cabinet minister. Hindustan Times