‘Kishor is looking for an influential position in the party in which he will report only to Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’.

 

New Delhi: Election strategist Prashant Kishor, who is searching for a “big” role in the Congress with the objective of reviving the party and a permanent pasture for himself, has been working on a pro-Congress campaign since late 2019-early 2020.

Kishor, who had developed close contact with the Congress leadership by virtue of handling the party’s campaign in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in 2017, had asked his team members, who were based in Hyderabad at that time, to prepare content on how to revive the party on social media and on the ground in late 2019 and early 2020.

During this time, he was in regular touch with the top three Congress leaders. “At that time, he had questioned the Congress leadership for not coming out on the streets against the NRC and CAA. In reaction to this, some Youth Congress leaders had attacked Kishor on Twitter. However, within hours of their tweets targeting Kishor, they had to delete the tweets as they got the message from the high command not to speak against Kishor. The tweets by the Youth Congress leaders targeting Kishor were collated by Kishor’s team and sent to the Congress high command,” a source said. Though he is not a part of the Congress, officially, Kishor keeps sharing his suggestions and inputs on developments with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at regular intervals.

Sources in the Congress said that Kishor is looking for an “influential position” within the party that should come with complete autonomy in which he will be required to report only to Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. “He wants to head the party’s campaign in the run-up to the 2024 elections and for that, he needs a position that is at least of the level of party General Secretary. One thing, hopefully, will lead to the other if Congress does well in 2024. However, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also need to take into account what will be the reaction of the other senior leaders if an outsider like Kishor is straight away given such a significant position in the party,” a senior party leader told The Sunday Guardian. According to sources, the Congress leadership has been “more or less” convinced that it needs Kishor to give a fight to the Narendra Modi-led BJP in the 2024 elections.

Messages sent to Prashant Kishor seeking his response on the developments did not elicit any response till the time the story went to press.

Apart from Kishor’s election management skills, the Congress, if it decides to accept his demands of being given a significant position in the party, is likely to gain from his relatively less talked about skill of “media management” due to his proximity to a select group of journalists.

It is pertinent to mention that in 2018, Kishor had approached the BJP leadership seeking a senior role in the party’s hierarchy and be made in-charge of the party’s campaign for the May 2019 elections. However, the talks failed to fructify.