After Rift, Buzz Over Prashant Kishor’s Role In Congress’ Mission Gujarat

The Congress is yet to take a call on Prashant Kishor’s proposal. (FILE)

New Delhi:

Election strategist Prashant Kishor has reportedly reached out to Rahul Gandhi to work on the Congress party’s campaign in the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections later this year, according to two sources in the Congress, a dramatic turn of events after both sides fell out last year after several rounds of talks.

The outreach comes months after negotiations between the Congress leadership and Mr Kishor towards a wider role for the strategist in galvanising the party broke down in September last year. The Congress subsequently signed up with a former associate of Mr Kishor to handle its election campaigns while Mr Kishor became a key point person for Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress. 

Mr Kishor’s latest pitch however is said to be a one-time offer to work only on the Gujarat elections with “no strings attached”, sources told NDTV.

The Congress is yet to take a call on Mr Kishor’s proposal, which also came up during a meeting held by Rahul Gandhi with Gujarat Congress leaders on Tuesday.

Some Gujarat Congress leaders are reportedly keen on taking on Mr Kishor, with the final say resting with Rahul Gandhi.

People close to Mr Kishor have denied the story.

There was a real possibility of Mr Kishor joining the Congress last year, but the partnership fell through over “multiple reasons,” Congress’ Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had told NDTV earlier this year.

Prashant Kishor held several rounds of discussions with all three Gandhis – Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi – last year and images of the strategist going to Rahul Gandhi’s home sparked wild speculation. His entry into the Congress was said to be all but done.

Reports of a breakdown in negotiations emerged alongside a series of pungent attacks by Prashant Kishor, who publicly said it was not the “divine right of any individual” to lead the Congress, “especially when the party has lost more than 90 per cent of the elections in the last 10 years.”

Mr Kishor has made it clear that he believes the Congress does have a role to play in the opposition ahead of the 2024 national election, but not under the current leadership.

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