The Congress party is desperate to get at least some face-saving seats in the forthcoming assembly polls in two states, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, to be held at the end of the year.
Following the recent debacles in five-state assembly elections, the party is looking frustrated and wants to be considered the leading contender to form a government once more in some states and the Centre. Therefore, it is trying to woo Prashant Kishor to join the grand old party.
After several meetings and feedback from the top brass of the Congress, party president Sonia Gandhi is expected to invite top poll policy maker Prashant Kishor for the final one-on-one discussion and present him with an ‘exciting offer’ to join the dejected group to maintain the party’s image.
Kishor takes steps with care
Kishor has been taking every step with care and hasn’t disclosed anything regarding his joining the party so far. It seems he will take some more time before making any final decision on accepting Congress’s offer. Prashant Kishor seems to call on several chief ministers like Mamata Banerjee, MK Stalin, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Uddhav Thackeray, K Chandrashekar Rao, and others with whom he keeps a professional relationship.
Kishor appears to be using his strategy in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls to help non-BJP and non-NDA parties get a handful of seats.
PK has had many meetings with the Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and some senior party leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, P Chidambaram, Digvijaya Singh, Kamal Nath, Mukul Wasnik, Ajay Maken, Ambika Soni, and so on.
Insiders in the party deny that Kishor proposed becoming vice-president of the party. Senior party leader Kharge was present in that meeting and did not make any observations.
If Kishor joins the Congress party, it is unclear what role he will play. Informed sources say these issues have been left in Sonia Gandhi’s court to take the final decision.
The Gandhis and Kishor have known each other for the last seven years and have spent some quality time over meals and marathon discussions, which have further strengthened their professional ties.
Old-timers may recall that when Rahul Gandhi became AICC general secretary in 2006, he hired the Foundation for Advanced Management of Elections (FAME), run by former chief election commissioner JM Lyngdoh, to set up inner-party democracy in the Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India (NSUI).
The question is whether Prashant Kishor can help the depressed grand old party improve its performance in the upcoming elections in the two states and, more importantly, in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. It won’t be a green pasture for Kishor to assist the dejected party. Will he be successful? It’s a million dollar question.