Election strategist Prashant Kishor has categorically rejected the Congress offer to join the party as part of its “Empowered Action Group”, bringing to an end the months-long negotiations to rejuvenate the grand old party. Sources indicated that the 137-year-old party refused to give him a free hand, despite internally agreeing that they need a fresh face and transformational strategy for the next general elections.
“I declined the generous offer of #congress to join the party as part of the EAG & take responsibility for the elections,” Mr Kishor tweeted shortly after the Congress announced his decision.
“In my humble opinion, more than me the party needs leadership and collective will to fix the deep rooted structural problems through transformational reforms,” he added, encapsulating his reservations about the party that he had aired from time to time.
“Following a presentation & discussions with Sh. Prashant Kishor, Congress President has constituted a Empowered Action Group 2024 & invited him to join the party as part of the group with defined responsibility. He declined. We appreciate his efforts & suggestion given to party,” senior party leader Randeep Surjewala tweeted.
Over the last month Mr Kishor had a series of meetings with party chief Sonia Gandhi and made detailed presentations about his plans. These were followed by a string of internal meetings between Mrs Gandhi and the top leaders.
There was substantial resistance from a section of leaders on Mr Kishor’s joining — not just on ideological grounds but also over his links to political rivals like Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.