Is Prashant Kishor planning a new innings with the Congress? | India News

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NEW DELHI: Election strategist Prashant Kishor may associate with the crisis-ridden Congress as the party gears up for the electoral challenges ahead in the run up to 2024 Lok Sabha elections, according to reports.
Prashant Kishor, who has helped several parties, including the BJP, win elections, had on Tuesday met with former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka. It later emerged that interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi had also joined the meeting.
While there was no official word from the Congress on the purpose of the meeting, initial reports suggested that the crisis in Punjab Congress was on the agenda.
This appeared possible since Prashant Kishor is also the principal adviser to Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, who is locked in a bitter political battle with cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu ahead of the assembly elections in the state early next year.
However, according to some media reports, the meeting of the Gandhis with Prashant Kishor had a “much bigger” agenda.
Reports say the meeting explored a possible role for the election strategist in the main opposition party, which is struggling to survive the BJP onslaught across the country.
After guiding the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress to a spectacular victory in the Bengal assembly elections, Prashant Kishor had announced that he is “quitting this space”, which meant that he was no more interested to work as an election strategist for political parties.
That perhaps was a hint that the election strategist was preparing for a new innings in active politics. His recent meetings with several national leaders, including mutiple meetings with Sharad Pawar, also point to his urge for a new role in politics.
However, Sharad Pawar has denied discussing politics with Prashant Kishor.
“Prashant Kishor met me twice, but we only talked about a company of his. No discussion was held regarding the leadership for the 2024 elections or the Presidential election. Prashant Kishor told me that he has left the field of formulating poll strategies,” the NCP chief told news agency ANI.
Recently when Sharad Pawar and Yashwant Sinha called a meeting of several opposition parties under the banner of Rashtra Manch, Prashant Kishor said he did not believe that any third or fourth front had the potential to challenge the BJP in 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Prashant Kishor’s last assignment for the Congress party was for the Uttar Pradesh and Punjab assembly elections.
While the party performed miserably in Uttar Pradesh, in Punjab it won the elections comfortably.
The Congress faces an uphill task as it gears up for some crucial state elections next year. Also, after being routed decisively in the last two Lok Sabha elections, the Congress needs to start early for the 2024 challenge. Prashant Kishor’s experience will certainly come in handy for the party, which may not survive another Lok Sabha drubbing.??
Earlier this year, Prashant Kishore helped Mamata Banerjee trounce the BJP in a very keenly fought West Bengal assembly elections.
The BJP failed to dislodge Mamata from power despite using its full might. The party led a very aggressive election campaign with PM Modi and Amit Shah leading from the front.
However, Prashant Kishore, who guided the Trinamool campaign had predicted midway during the campaigning that the BJP would not manage to reach the three-figure mark in the state. On May 2, when the results were announced his assessment of BJP’s tally proved correct.
Prashant Kishor was also assciated with the DMK in Tamil Nadu. Led by Stalin, the party managed to dislodge the AIADMK from power after a gap of 10 years.
Prashant Kishor had started his career as an election strategist with the BJP in Gujarat when Narendra Modi was the state’s chief minister.
He later on went to work with Nitish Kumar in Bihar. The Bihar chief minister gave him a senior position in the ruling Janta Dal (United). However, the bonhomie was short-lived and Kishor left the party after differences with Nitish Kumar.
(With inputs from agencies)

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