Prashant Kishor. (Photo | PTI)
Prashant Kishor. (Photo | PTI)

The Congress' Prashant Kishor conundrum

Rahul Gandhi has said that Kishor's past engagement with parties across the political spectrum has created doubts about his ideological position.

The Congress is vertically divided on the issue of admitting elections strategist Prashant Kishor into the party. Senior leader Digvijaya Singh, who is considered close to former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, called Kishor a "statistician" and said the party wants to be sure of his political and ideological commitment before taking a call on admitting him.

He has said that Kishor's past engagement with parties across the political spectrum has created doubts about his ideological position.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot described Kishor as no more than a "brand", but said it could bring value to the Congress. Some other leaders have pointed to JDU leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's statement that he had appointed Kishor as his party's vice president on the request of Union home minister and BJP leader Amit Shah.

Some have also flagged a recent incident where Kishor congratulated Congress Assam state president Ripun Bora for quitting the party and joining Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress. The details of this call were revealed by Bora himself.

There is a large section of Congress leaders and workers that believes Kishor is a BJP agent who is being planted in the party to wreck it from within. There are also murmurs that Rahul too is not keen on inducting him into the party.

However, Congress president Sonia Gandhi appears prepared to overlook all these reservations and push ahead with bringing Kishor into the party. Her argument is that all the leaders of the Congress have not been able to stem the party's decline, while Kishor, in his short stint at election management, has produced spectacular results.

She feels the party cannot expect different results by continuing to do the same. It, therefore, needs to do something new. She has thrown her weight behind Kishor and the message has gone around.

Sonia's confidante Ambika Soni has submitted her report on Kishor's presentation and the stage appears set for his entry into the Congress. The only issue that remains to be resolved is the role, responsibility and position to be given to him.

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The New Indian Express
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