April 13, 2024
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In the midst of renewed talk about joining the Congress, Prashant Kishor meets with Gandhis

Prashant Kishor, an election strategist, is meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and senior leaders Rahul Gandhi and K C Venugopal, sources said today, amid speculation that he will join the party, which has its back to the wall after a series of poll routs.

Mr. Kishor recently resumed talks with the Gandhis about playing a role in resurrecting the Congress in the run-up to the 2024 general election. After several rounds of talks on forming a partnership, the two sides had previously fallen out.

According to sources close to the strategist, the talks are not focused on the Gujarat election later this year, as the Congress claims. According to reports, the Congress leadership and Prashant Kishor, also known as “PK,” are primarily discussing a strategy for the national election in 2024.

Once the two sides reach an agreement for 2024, elections in Gujarat or any other state will fall under PK’s assignment and responsibility, according to the sources. Mr Kishor’s latest pitch, according to Congress sources, is a one-time offer to work only on the Gujarat elections.

According to reports, PK’s desire for a Big Bang approach, as opposed to the Gandhis’ desire to make incremental changes without antagonising party leaders by entrusting the ace strategist with overhauling the Congress, is a major stumbling block.

Sources say that PK joining Congress, rather than taking on an advisory role, is still a long shot. Given his May 2 deadline for announcing his future role, it’s not impossible, but it all depends on everyone involved agreeing on Mission 2024.

Mr Kishor’s talks with the Gandhis broke down last year, just weeks after Mamata Banerjee’s victory in Bengal, in which the strategist played a key role. Later, the Congress hired a former associate of Mr. Kishor to run its election campaigns.

Despite Mr Kishor’s public jabs at the Congress, particularly Rahul Gandhi, in the months following the breakup, both sides have shown willingness to try again after the party’s recent election losses. According to sources, the communication “never stopped.”However, because neither side has changed their stance, there is a strong possibility that Round 2 will be a snoozer.

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