Prashant Kishor declines Congress invitation to join, calls out leadership and structure issues
In a massive setback to Congress, polling strategist Prashant Kishor on Tuesday rejected the leadership’s offer to join the big old party after days of speculation. In his first statement, the founder of the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) said that in his “humble opinion”, more than his enthronement, Congress needed leadership and a collective will to resolve its “deep-rooted structural problems”.
Go to Twitter, Prashant Kishor said: “I have declined the offer of the Congress leadership to join the party and take responsibility for the EAG elections. In my humble opinion, more than my membership, the congress needs leadership and collective will to address some of the deep-rooted structural issues through transformational reforms.”
I declined the generous offer of #Congress join the party as part of the EAG and assume responsibility for the elections.
In my humble opinion, more than me, the party needs leadership and collective will to solve deep-rooted structural problems through transformational reforms.
— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) April 26, 2022
Prashant Kishor declines Congress invitation
Prashant Kishor’s confirmation comes after the Congress General Secretary spilled the beans on the issue and revealed that following discussions, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has formed an “empowered 2024 action group” which has invited the strategist to join the party. A “definite responsibility” has been offered to Prashant Kishor, Surjewala revealed. However, he declined the offer.
Following a presentation and discussions with Sh. Prashant Kishor, President of the Congress, formed an Empowered Action Group 2024 and invited him to join the party as part of the group with a defined responsibility. He refused. We appreciate his efforts and suggestions for the party.
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) April 26, 2022
Kishor’s ties to rivals worry Congress?
Apparently, the poll strategist’s decision comes after members of Congress expressed distrust of his I-PAC’s association with rival parties. It is important to mention that Kishor had presented “a detailed plan” for the 2024 elections to party chair Sonia Gandhi. However, an eight-member group formed by the Congress leader to formulate the party’s strategy for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections after Kishor’s presentation took “serious note” of I-PAC’s agreement with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) of Chandrashekar Rao, sources revealed.
“Most of Prashant Kishor’s suggestions turned out to be practical and helpful,” one of the committee members told ANI. Still, apprehensions have been expressed over his links to rivals, sources have confirmed. The panel included Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, KC Venugopal, Randeep Surjewala, P Chidambaram, Ambika Soni, Jairam Ramesh and Mukul Wasnik.
Notably, Prashant Kishor gained acclaim due to the BJP’s landslide victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which propelled then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India. Kishor IPAC has also run successful campaigns for AAP (Delhi Assembly election 2015), Mahagatbandhan (Bihar Assembly election 2015), YSCRP (Bihar Assembly election Andhra Pradesh), DMK (Tamil Nadu Assembly election) and TMC (West Bengal Assembly election).
Regarding his association with Congress, Prashant Kishor worked with the party for the Punjab Assembly election in 2017. While the poll strategist was in charge of the Congress election campaign for the 2022 elections in Punjab, he resigned from the post on August 5, saying he wanted to take a “temporary break” from an active role in public life. This follows his decision to leave the political strategy space after the West Bengal Assembly elections.