Here's why Prashant Kishor is not joining Congress
Poll strategist Prashant Kishor on Tuesday declined to join the Congress and said he will not take responsibility for the 2024 general elections. After several meetings over the past fortnight, interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi had asked Kishor to join the party and be a part of the Empowered Action Group 2024. However, Kishor has rejected the offer. Here is why.
Why does this story matter?
- Speculations were rife that Kishor would join Congress after the series of recent meetings.
- This despite Kishor's falling out with the Gandhis as he had helped the rival Trinamool Congress win the 2021 West Bengal elections.
- In view of the 2024 polls, Kishor has reportedly presented a 600-slide multi-point strategy to Congress to revive its dwindling support base.
More than me, Congress needs leadership: Prashant Kishor
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Tuesday said that Gandhi had offered Kishor to join the new Empowered Action Group 2024, but he declined. On Twitter, Kishor said the offer was "generous." Taking a parting shot at Congress, Kishor tweeted, "In my humble opinion, more than me the party needs leadership and collective will to fix the deep-rooted structural problems through transformational reforms."
Kishor's detailed roadmap for 2024 elections
Kishor's plan for the 2024 general elections included recommendations to Congress to focus on 370 Lok Sabha seats and forge alliances for the rest. Further, Kishor reportedly suggested that the Congress fight alone in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Odisha. The party should form alliances in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Maharashtra, he had reportedly recommended and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had agreed.
Kishor wanted 'free hand' in election management
Kishor had reportedly sought a free hand in election management. However, Congress wasn't ready to give him sweeping powers, IANS reported quoting sources. Though Sonia and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had complete faith in him, Rahul was not too keen to give him complete power, the report said. Digvijaya Singh and AK Antony had also reportedly expressed their concerns about Kishor joining Congress.
Why talks between Prashant Kishor and Congress collapsed?
Congress saw the pact signed by Kishor's company I-PAC with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi for the Telangana elections as a conflict of interest, sources told PTI. Kishor's engagement with the TMC in Bengal and JD(U) in Bihar were also . The party was also upset after PK called former Tripura Congressman Ripun Bora a day after he joined TMC.
Kishor wanted to decide Congress leadership: Report
Reportedly, Kishor had also suggested that Priyanka should lead the party. He wanted Sonia as the United Progressive Alliance chairperson and Rahul as the parliamentary party leader, The Print reported quoting two members of the committee who knew about Kishor roadmap. "How could we outsource the party leadership? He can't decide who will lead the party," one said.
What is the Empowered Action Group?
Eyeing the 2024 elections, Sonia had announced the "Empowered Action Group" that will address Congress's political challenges. Congress will hold "Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir" in Udaipur from May 13-15 to discuss organizational changes and other issues. "Issues relating to the welfare...well-being and the trampling upon of the rights of backward classes, minorities...women...be deliberated in the Nav [Sankalp Chintan] Shivir," Surjewala has said.