2024 Lok Sabha polls: Prashant Kishor wants Congress to set '400-seat target', form alliance where weak
New Delhi, Apr 16: Poll strategist Prashant Kishor on Saturday gave a detailed presentation to Congress top brass at Sonia Gandhi on the way forward for 2024 general elections. Kishor is likely to join the Congress, which is reeling from a string of defeats.
Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other senior party leaders were present at the four-hour meeting at the Congress president's 10, Janpath residence that discussed the party's strategy for the upcoming assembly polls and the next Lok Sabha election.
"Prashant Kishor has given a detailed presentation on 2024 polls strategy to the Congress chief. The plan presented by him will be looked after by a group set up by Cong chief and the group will submit report within a week time to party chief for a final decision," said Congress' KC Venugopal.
"Every detail will be informed within a week's time," said Congress leader KC Venugopal when asked whether Prashant Kishor will work as a strategist in the Congress party or will he join the party.
Kishor suggested that the party contest alone in a few state assembly elections where it is strong and has remained either in the top or in the second position in previous elections.
"Prashant Kishor in his presentation said that Congress party should focus on 370 to 400 Seats. Congress should fight alone in UP, Bihar & Odisha. In Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Maharashtra, Congress should fight in alliance. Rahul Gandhi agreed to the points of Prashant Kishor," ANI reported quoting sources.
Prashant Kishor will be joining Congress in the coming days but has not asked for any specific post in the party.
He also told the leadership to start afresh in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha. Kishor, who has held several rounds of meetings with the top Congress leadership, is also learnt to have made suggestions on the upcoming assembly elections including the induction of Naresh Patel, a Patidar leader in Gujarat.
The poll strategist had earlier joined the JD(U) but was expelled in January 2020 over his stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act. He had been roped in by the Trinamool Congress, the DMK and the Aam Aadmi Party in their assembly election campaigns. The Congress leaders also discussed the current political situation at the meeting, sources said.
Those who attended the meeting included Mallikarjun Kharge, Venugopal, Ambika Soni, Digivijaya Singh, Ajay Maken and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The Congress has been grappling with repeated election defeats in the last two general elections and many state assembly elections. The party is not only facing a series of desertions ever since its electoral graph has taken a downturn in the last few years, but the brewing internal conflict between the old guard and the new generation for leadership roles has also taken its toll.
The G-23, a grouping of some party leaders, has been critical of the leadership and demanded an organisational overhaul. The grouping had also written to the Congress chief in this regard and has lately raised the issue of collective leadership.
The party is working out ways and means for its revival and is set to hold a 'Chintan Shivir', most likely in Rajasthan, soon for a brainstorming session to help devise means for strengthening the organisation. The party's organisational polls are underway and ostensibly decks are being cleared for Rahul Gandhi to take over the party once again by August this year.