LUCKNOW: Poll strategist Prashant Kishor today held a marathon meeting with leaders and workers of Congress in a bid to galvanise the party for the 2017 state Assembly elections.
Ideas and suggestions were invited from state, district and city unit level office-bearers on ways to strengthen the party, whose vote share has fallen significantly, UP PCC chief Nirmal Khatri said.
Kishor was earlier roped in by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his immensely successful 2014 Lok Sabha campaign and is said to have played a key role in the victory of JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance in Bihar polls.
Khatri said the party would chalk out its strategy on the basis of ideas mooted during the meeting held in the presence of Kishor.
Meanwhile, BJP took a swipe at Congress for approaching Kishor to improve its performance in the 2017 Assembly elections.
"The party has to first decide whether it will ride piggy back on ruling Samajwadi Party or oppose it in the polls," BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.
He also wondered as to how the party of Nehru-Gandhi was "banking" on the charisma of Kishor rather than relying on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul to "regain its lost moorings" in the state.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also took a dig at Congress, saying "the party which got the country its Independence is today taking help of poll strategist Kishor for the next Assembly elections."
Kishor did not speak at his first meeting with party office-bearers, and only noted down the ideas given by them, a party leader said.
Regarding role of Kishor, Khatri said, "The strategy is being framed by us (Congress)."
Congress National General Secretary and UP incharge Madhusudan Mistry said professors of several universities and doctors have shown eagerness to be a part of the party.
"Several people want to get associated. Likewise, Kishor is also associated. There are certain things which cannot be made public," he said.
On the possibility of projecting a CM's face for the upcoming polls, Mistry said that names are sent to central leadership after elections and the process cannot be changed.
During the meeting with Kishor, leaders suggested that the names of candidates should be declared early.