Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Congress panel submits suggestions to Sonia on Kishor’s strategy

Sonia Kishor

New Delhi, April 22: Amid a series of deliberations over a strategy for upcoming general and assembly elections by poll strategist Prashant Kishor, a group of senior leaders of the Congress has given its recommendations to party president Sonia Gandhi and left it to her to take a call on them and initiate organisational changes.
Sources said the panel of eight leaders formed by the Congress president have discussed at length Kishor’s strategy plan and deliberated with several senior leaders while giving their suggestions to Gandhi and taking it forward in order to revive the grand old party.
Some leaders of the party would meet again on Monday for holding further deliberations on the party’s revival and strategy plan, even as Gandhi held discussions with the Congress president on Friday, sources add.
On Kishor’s entry into the Congress fold, though some senior leaders had reservations keeping in view his involvement with a number of political parties including the BJP, JDU, TMC and Congress in the past, a majority of them have favoured it but left it to the Congress president to take a final call.
Some senior leaders like Digivijaya Singh have said that Kishor has come out with a concrete strategy plan and the committee has discussed it further and said it would help the party.
Singh along with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Ambika Soni, K C Venugopal, Mukul Wasnik, Jairam Ramesh, P Chidambaram and Randeep Surjewala are among those in the panel formed by Sonia Gandhi, who sat for several hours and held many rounds of deliberations during this week. They have also met many senior Congress leaders and Kishor during these deliberations.
Sources said Kishor had earlier met some leaders of the G-23 in the Congress, when he had also met some opposition leaders including Sharad Pawar, suggesting that in order to oust Narendra Modi, the opposition should contest polls unitedly.
He had asserted that for this the Congress has to be strengthened by handing over the party to a non-Gandhi, they said.
Kishor, in his strategy plan for 2024 Lok Sabha elections and other state elections in several states, has suggested a number of measures including the poll strategy plan, structural and organisational changes in the party and on alliances with other parties.
An 85-page power point presentation by Kishor was also doing the rounds on social media in which he recommended a non-Gandhi leadership for the Congress party that would have high impact in elections.
He has also suggested in this presentation the reincarnation of the Congress, preserving its soul and creating a new body, as the need of the hour. Kishor also noted that without a strong Congress there cannot be a functional UPA and hence the leadership should focus to rebuild the party.
He further suggested in this “old presentation, that the Congress should leverage the role and capacity of the UPA chairperson position to consolidate its support with erstwhile Congress leaders who have substantial electoral base and grassroots presence in key regions while continuing with AICC presidentship to keep the Congress together, but have a non-Gandhi as working president or vice president of the party to work effectively on the ground.
Kishor also wants formation of a parliamentary board, the sources said.
They said in the presentation, which is termed as “fake or old” by the party, Kishor has suggested several measures including taking five strategic decisions of fixing leadership issue, solving alliance issues, reclaiming party’s founding tenets, creating an army of grassroots leaders and workers and an ecosystem of supportive media and digital propagation.
Kishor has also suggested that the Congress party should focus on 365-370 Lok Sabha seats in 2024 elections and should contest alone in assembly polls in states where it is either first or second, the sources said, adding that he has also suggested a fresh start for the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar.
The G-23 has remained silent so far on Kishor and have not aired their views on him or his strategy plan. (PTI)