Is Prashant Kishor’s meeting with Gandhis’ a sign of closer ties in future?
According to sources, Gandhis and Prashant Kishor may have discussed a formal role for the latter in the party as they prepare for upcoming state and national elections.Author : Avneet Kaur
Prashant Kishor’s meeting with former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday has triggered speculations in political circles whether he is joining Congress or are they gearing up for a ‘united opposition’ to defeat BJP in 2024.
According to sources, Gandhis and Prashant Kishor may have discussed a formal role for the latter in the party as they prepare for upcoming state and national elections.
The meeting took place at Rahul Gandhi’s residence, where Sonia Gandhi had joined virtually. Also, KC Venugopal and Harish Rawat are said to be the part of meeting as they were seen entering Rahul’s residence.
Purpose of the meeting
Given that Kishor is advising Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the meeting was initially thought to be about the Punjab Congress's crisis.
However, it was discovered that the meet was not about the Punjab or Uttar Pradesh elections.
According to sources, the meeting was about “something broader," implying that poll strategist Prashant Kishor may be eyeing a key position in preparing the Congress for the 2024 election.
Detailing about the meeting, a party leader said, “Kishor is an important political figure. Of course, when he meets with the party leadership, the discussion will be national in nature, not just about one state.”
The strategies for establishing a unified national alliance against the BJP for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections were discussed. Also, Kishor told the Congress leadership that if the opposition parties joined together in 2022, the BJP's presidential candidate might be defeated.
Despite Kishor's dissatisfying experience with Congress in the past, there are rumors that he may join the party.
However, Prashant Kishor clarified on Wednesday that his meeting with Gandhis was only a "courtesy meeting", but the suspicion continues.
What lies ahead for Kishor and Congress?
During the Bengal Assembly elections, Kishor had told in an interview with NDTV that he wanted to quit. He had said, “I don't want to continue doing what I'm doing. Enough is enough. It's time for me to take a break and pursue other interests. I'd like to leave this space.”
But now, poll strategist Kishor is said to be playing an important role in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections next year and had met several party leaders in recent months.
His meeting with Congress leadership yesterday was significant because it indicates that Congress is willing to engage with Kishor formally rather than through back channels. Kishor also sees Congress as a necessary component of any national anti-BJP coalition.
For the upcoming 2024 elections, Congress is seeking Kishor's advice on how to settle its internal crisis and become battle-ready. However, the party's immediate challenge is to resolve the leadership crisis and balance competing factions in election-bound states such as Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Goa.
Looking at the bigger picture, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the political situation has shifted in the midst of the pandemic, the anti-farm law protests, along the Bengal election. The opposition now has a possibility to defeat the BJP in 2024. Both Prashant Kishor's initiatives and Congress's sudden urgency are part of the same process.