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Prashant Kishor declines offer to join Congress, explains his decision via tweet

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Prashant Kishor, a poll strategist, rejected to join the Congress on Tuesday, a day after party president Sonia Gandhi announced the formation of a “empowered action group” for 2024 to confront upcoming electoral problems.

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Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted on the development, “Following a presentation & discussions with Sh. Prashant Kishor, Congress President has constituted an Empowered Action Group 2024 & invited him to join the party as part of the group with defined responsibility. He declined. We appreciate his efforts & suggestion given to party.”

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Later, in a tweet, Kishor claimed that “leadership and collective will to fix the deep-rooted structural problems through transformational reforms” are needed more than he is.

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Kishor sought a free hand in the Congress, which he received in the Trinamool Congress, according to sources. But, according to insiders, Kishor thought it wouldn’t be possible following a series of internal discussions with Congress.

Is it the end of Kishor-Congress saga?

While the Congress considered bringing Kishor on board, a group of veterans expressed reservations about his appointment, citing his ties to many anti-Congress political organisations. Even the party’s dissident organisation, known as G23, was unimpressed with Kishor’s appointment, claiming that the leadership was disregarding and dismissing in-house talent in favour of someone who is not committed to the party and is a professional consultant.

There has been a lot of chatter in the past about Kishor joining the Congress, especially before the 2014 assembly elections.

Kishor gave a thorough presentation to the high brass of the Congress last week at a meeting chaired by Sonia Gandhi on the path forward for the 2024 general elections. Kishor’s ideas, including whether he would join the party, will be decided in a week, according to AICC general secretary K C Venugopal.

At a four-hour meeting last Saturday at the Congress president’s 10, Janpath house, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Mallikarjun Kharge, and other top party officials reviewed the party’s strategy for the next assembly elections and the next Lok Sabha election. According to reports, Kishor informed the select group that he was willing to enter the Congress “without any expectations” and that all he wants is for his plan to be executed to assist the party flourish at the grassroots level.

After the meeting, Venugopal told reporters that a panel will be formed to discuss the proposals.

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The poll strategist had previously been a member of the JD(U), but was removed in January 2020 due to his opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act. In their assembly election campaigns, the Trinamool Congress, the DMK, and the Aam Aadmi Party had enlisted his help.

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