Congress asks Prashant Kishor to join party: Details here
The Congress on Saturday asked poll strategist Prashant Kishor to join the party rather than work as a consultant. Reportedly, he has expressed interest in joining the Congress and also gave a comprehensive presentation of the party's current shortcomings during a meeting with the Gandhis. He also discussed what needs to be done to improve Congress's performance in the 2024 General Elections, NDTV reported.
- Kishor's talks with the Gandhis fell through last year after Mamata Banerjee won the West Bengal Assembly elections—in which Kishor played a key role.
- Now, Kishor wants to revive Congress through radical changes within the organization—as opposed to the Gandhis' desire for incremental changes to not antagonize party leaders.
- Saturday's meeting is significant given the upcoming Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections later this year.
Reportedly, Kishor met Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at their Janpath residence in New Delhi. Senior party leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal, Ambika Soni, Digivijaya Singh, Ajay Maken, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were also present. Randeep Surjewala and P Chidambaram were invited but didn't attend the meeting. While some leaders invited Kishor to join the party, a section of Congress is against that.
The Congress leaders on Saturday were given a detailed presentation by Kishor for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, which recommended that Congress focus solely on 370 seats. After the meeting, Venugopal said a committee would be formed to look at his suggestions and decide on further steps. When asked about Kishor's induction into Congress, Venugopal said, "Every detail will be informed within a week."
As per reports, Kishor is pushing for the inclusion of Naresh Patel in Congress ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls. Kishor wants Patel—who is a Patidar leader—to be the party's face in the upcoming state elections. Notably, Patel is the Chairperson of the Shree Khodaldham Trust, which oversees the temple of Goddess Khodiyar, the main deity of the Leuva Patidar community near Rajkot.
Despite Kishor's attacks on the Congress in the recent past, both sides have reportedly expressed a willingness to work together, especially after the Congress's defeats in five crucial state elections this year. However, despite having differences last year, the communication between Kishor and the Gandhis "never stopped," reported NDTV citing sources.