Political strategist Prashant Kishor on Tuesday refused to join the Congress as a member of its Empowered Action Group 2024.
“I declined the generous offer of Congress to join the party as part of the EAG and take responsibility for the elections,” Kishor said in a tweet.
Kishor said that the Congress party needs leadership and collective will to fix its “deep rooted structural problems” through transformational reforms.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the party appreciates Kishor’s efforts and suggestions.
The Empowered Action Group was formed after Kishor gave a presentation to the top leaders of the Congress and held a discussion with party chief Sonia Gandhi, Surjewala said. The group is meant to address the political challenges for the party ahead of the 2024 General Assembly elections, NDTV reported.
On April 16, the political strategist gave the presentation to Gandhi and other veteran leaders about the strategy to take on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2024 polls. After that, he has held multiple meetings with them.
Kishor shot to fame after running a successful campaign for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and has had stints with many political parties since then.
His political consultancy firm, I-PAC, was believed to be instrumental in the state election victories of the Janata Dal (United) in Bihar, the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, the YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh, the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu.
In the past too, there have been speculations of Kishor collaborating with the Congress, but nothing materialised. In an apparent jibe at Rahul Gandhi, he had said in December that Congress’ leadership was not the “divine right” of an individual. However, he had added that the “idea and space” that Congress represented was vital for a strong Opposition.
Soon after the Assembly election results were announced for five states last month, he had said that parties like the Trinamool Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party would not be able to become national parties easily.
The Congress had managed to win only 55 of the 690 seats spread across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa. It lost Punjab to the Aam Aadmi Party and failed to wrest power from the BJP in Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.