Congress divided on Prashant Kishor’s entry, Sonia to take final call

It is being speculated that Kishor may get a key position if he joins the party

Prashant Kishor, JD (U) President, BJP, nationwide NRC, National Register of Citizens, tactical retreat, Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar
Kishor has an impressive track record of steering parties towards poll victories, the recent ones being the win of the DMK and the Trinamool Congress in the Tamil Nadu and West Bengal Assembly polls respectively.  

Amid friction in the Congress over the speculated entry of poll strategist Prashant Kishor into the party, Sonia Gandhi is expected to take a final call on the matter.

Kishor, founder of I-PAC has an impressive track record of steering parties towards poll victories, the recent ones being the win of the DMK and the Trinamool Congress in the Tamil Nadu and West Bengal Assembly polls respectively.

In July, Kishor reportedly had a detailed discussion with Congress leaders Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi about getting inducted to a possible position in the party. Reports say, Kishor may get a senior position if he joins it.

While the Gandhis have welcomed Kishor, several Congress leaders including the G-23 group are opposed to his entry. The G-23 group – who in in a letter to Sonia Gandhi had suggested reforms in the party last year – recently held a meeting at Kapil Sibal’s residence to discuss the matter.

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While some leaders feel Kishor’s entry would help the party get a makeover and improve its poll prospects, others opposing his entry believe his induction wouldn’t make much of a difference to the party and instead suggest that the Gandhis engage with party leaders and grassroots workers identify key issues.

Also read: The ‘Core Committee’ obsession of Opposition and why it does not work

Kishor reportedly has a plan in mind to help the Congress revive itself – from holding public rallies to hosting opposition get-togethers among other things.

But some leaders say things wouldn’t be as easy for Kishor to adapt when he joins the party.

“Prashant Kishor has no magic wand,” a leader told NDTV, adding that Kishor may find it difficult to adapt with the culture and approach of the Congress.

Other leaders feel he will be a breath of fresh air for the party, which has witnessed back-to-back poll debacles.

It is yet not known whether Kishor would head a separate poll committee or work under the current system.

The Congress has already worked with Kishor in the run up to the 2017 Uttar Pradesh election when the party had forged ties with the Samajwadi Party. The alliance, however, failed to work.

Kishore had been earlier critical of the Congress, stating that the party wasn’t open to his style of working.

In May this year, Kishore said that the Congress was “a 100-year-old political party and they have their ways of functioning.”

“They are not open to working on the ways suggested by people like Prashant Kishor or others. They won’t be open to working with my style of functioning,” he had said, adding that the Congress should identify problems ailing it and address them.

 

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