Breakup between Congress, Prashant Kishor leaves unanswered questions as party seeks revival

With Rahul Gandhi on a personal visit abroad and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra scheduled to go on a foreign trip later this week, party leaders are now banking on the May 13-15 Udaipur meet

Published: 27th April 2022 08:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2022 08:05 PM   |  A+A-

Election strategist Prashant Kishor

Prashant Kishor. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A day after the Congress-Prashant Kishor breakup, all eyes are now on the party’s ‘Chintan Shivir’ to look for a revival strategy. While the cancellation of the much-hyped deal has left some unanswered questions on the party’s planned organizational revamp, the upcoming assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh could be the first litmus test for the grand old party.

With Rahul Gandhi on a personal visit abroad and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra scheduled to go on a foreign trip later this week, party leaders are now banking on the May 13-15 Udaipur meet.

The party is scheduled to hold a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting soon to discuss the agenda for the Udaipur meeting and the issue of Kishor could come up for discussion at the party’s highest decision-making platform.   

Other issues requiring urgent attention include the recently constituted Empowered Action Group 2024, the fate of Patidar community leader Naresh Patel, the process of organizational restructuring and the party’s drying sources of earnings.    

Senior party leader Digvijay Singh, who was part of the eight-member strategy group on Kishor, said it is ultimately the Congress that has to move and put its house in order. “Consultant or no Consultant. I have a strong hunch that the “Chintan Shivir” would lead to bringing in a New Congress which is the Need of the Hour,” he tweeted.

Many party leaders feel that the biggest test for the party is now two state assembly elections later this year. In Gujarat, the party was banking upon Kishor to rope in influential Leuva Patel community leader Naresh Patel with the hope that it could boost the party’s electoral fortunes in the important Saurashtra region. Another Patidar leader Hardik Patel has already publicly said that he has been sidelined by state leaders.    

Gujarat, the home turf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, is a tough nut to crack with the party rudderless after the demise of Ahmed Patel.

However, in Himachal Pradesh, where the party on Tuesday announced a team led by former state CM Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh, lack of focus and infighting could hamper the party's chances. The Congress will contest elections in both states under the leadership of a new chief with presidential elections scheduled in September this year.

“We need to put our act together and start working on a group in poll-bound states. There could be some disappointment among grassroot workers who thought that Kishor’s induction would give a boost to the party. He is a businessman and wouldn’t have done anything for free and we would have paid him a huge amount for his services and better to use that money for party purposes,” a leader in charge of a key state told The New Indian Express.    


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