Congress’ leadership is not the “divine right” of an individual, political strategist Prashant Kishor said on Thursday, in an apparent jibe at Rahul Gandhi.
In a tweet, Kishor asserted that the leadership of the Opposition parties should be decided democratically, claiming that the Congress had lost more than 90% of the elections it contested in the last 10 years.
However, he added that the “idea and space” that Congress represents was vital for a strong Opposition.
Kishor’s comment is in sync with the Trinamool Congress’ approach towards the Congress in recent months. The political strategist was considered to be instrumental in Trinamool Congress’ victory in the West Bengal Assembly elections earlier this year, and the party’s forays in states like Tripura and Goa.
As recently as on Wednesday, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had said that “a strong alternative” was needed to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party from power. The West Bengal chief minister was speaking to reporters after a meeting with Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar’s home in Mumbai.
Responding to a reporter who asked if an Opposition alliance could be formed without the Congress, Banerjee had said: “[We] cannot do anything about those who can’t fight.”
Another reporter then asked Banerjee if Pawar should be made the chairman of the United Progressive Alliance. To this, Banerjee replied: “What UPA? There is no UPA now.”
The UPA had been when a Congress-led alliance came to power in 2004.
Banerjee is on a three-day visit to Maharashtra since Tuesday. She also held a meeting with Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray and the party’s MP Sanjay Raut.
Before visiting Maharashtra, Banerjee had met Opposition leaders and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, she did not meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi or other leaders of the party. When asked by reporters, she had said that it was “not constitutionally mandated” to meet Gandhi whenever she visits Delhi.
Earlier, in October, Banerjee had blamed Congress’ “indecisiveness” for Modi becoming more powerful.