INDIA: After days of speculation, poll strategist Prashant Kishor turned down Congress’s offer to induct him into the party. Taking to Twitter, the Grand Old Party’s General Secretary, Randeep Surjewala, announced that after a presentation and discussions with Prashant Kishor, Sonia Gandhi had formed an Empowered Action Group 2024 and invited him to join the party as a member of the group with defined responsibilities.
Prashant Kishor also confirmed his rejection of the Congress offer on Twitter. The poll strategist expressed his ‘humble opinion’ that more than his participation, Congress requires ‘leadership & collective will’ to address some of the deep-seated structural issues through transformational reforms. The poll strategist declined the grand old party’s offer after members expressed concern about Kishor’s I-association PAC with rival parties, the most recent of which was with TRS. Aside from TRS in Telangana, I-PAC has formed alliances with other parties that compete directly with the Congress, such as the YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.
Kishor’s refusal is a significant setback for Congress, as the poll strategist had presented Sonia Gandhi with a “detailed blueprint” for the 2024 elections. Sonia Gandhi’s eight-member committee had then submitted its report as a recommendation. The committee included Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, KC Venugopal, Randeep Surjewala, P Chidambaram, Ambika Soni, Jairam Ramesh, and Mukul. Wasnik stated in its recommendation that “most of Prashant Kishor’s suggestions are practical and useful.”
Prashant Kishor previously worked with the Congress party in the 2017 Punjab Assembly Election. While the poll strategist was in charge of Congress’ election campaign for the 2022 elections, he resigned from that position on August 5, citing a desire to take a “temporary break” from public life.