NEW DELHI: The decks seem to have cleared for poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s entry into Congress. On Saturday, he made a presentation on the 2024 Lok Sabha elections to top party leadership at Sonia Gandhi’s residence. Broadly, he chalked out a roadmap that the grand old party needs to follow to revive its electoral fortunes.
There were discussions on upcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. There were also talks on how the inclusion of Patidar leader Naresh Patel can help Congress in around 20-odd Assembly seats in Gujarat.
Although Kishor said he does not want any position in the party but a free hand to implement his proposals, sources claimed that he will join Congress soon. Notably, he left from the rear gate to avoid interacting with the media.
The meeting was attended by Rahul Gandhi, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, organisation in-charge KC Venugopal apart from senior leaders Jairam Ramesh, Ambika Soni, Digvijay Singh and Ajay Maken.
Sources said the leadership wants him to work for the party as an office-bearer. What role he will be assigned, needs to be discussed, keeping in mind that there are some who are opposed to him joining the party and want him to work only as a consultant. Kishor has been in talks with the Congress leadership for some time.
Kishor said the party should focus on around 370-400 Lok Sabha seats and forge alliances in the 150 more seats with stronger regional parties that have a bigger footprint in states like West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu. To corroborate his suggestions, the poll strategist produced an analysis of constituency-wise data profile of Congress in the past few Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. The presentation lasted around two hours.
“Kishor gave a presentation on the 2024 poll strategy to the Congress president. The plan will be looked at by a small group of party leaders and the Congress president will decide who will lead the group. The group will submit the report within a week,” said Venugopal. Rahul said the proposal needs to be studied in detail and a committee is expected to be constituted that will submit a report on his proposals.