Political strategist Prashant Kishor has warned state Congress members that he will prevail upon the party leadership to ensure that tickets for the 2017 assembly elections are not given to leaders who fail to list out dedicated workers for various assembly constituencies.
“In a day or two, the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee will send letters seeking the list of 20 dedicated workers (from each constituency). I will ensure that those who fail to comply with the directive – issued on March 10 – do not get a party ticket. I will also ensure that tickets are denied to leaders of frontal organisations who fail to give a list of workers for every booth in such assembly constituencies,” said Kishor at a meeting with partymen in Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Kishor, who has been hired by the Congress to revive its fortunes in Uttar Pradesh, had said on Tuesday that he will create a conducive environment for the party in the state – just as he had worked to the NDA’s advantage in the last parliamentary elections. This, however, requires the complete cooperation of Uttar Pradesh Congress leaders, he added.
“How will you get a ticket if you don’t give me the list? If you go to Rahulji, he will also agree that the party needs dedicated workers at every booth,” he said, adding that partymen from Varanasi’s Ajgara and Sevapuri assembly segments had not sent a single name from these seats.
The political strategist said party leaders hold rallies only at places where the Congress is in a strong position. “No seat is strong or weak,” he said, citing the Gujarat assembly elections as a case in point. Kishor said though the Congress won four seats more than the BJP in the state’s rural zone, the party lagged behind in the overall count because it did not focus on urban areas. “(Why do) we want to open the doors that are already open for us?” he asked.
He also hauled up the Uttar Pradesh Mahila Congress for failing to submit a list of workers for each constituency. “If you give us the list now, you will have a dedicated team of workers from the very first day. If each and every one of you gives a list, we will have thousands of dedicated party workers in every assembly constituency,” the poll strategist said.
Kishor sought to dispel the perception that the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was better placed than the Congress due to its Dalit vote bank. “Why did the BSP, with its 20% vote bank, not win a single seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections while the Congress won two?” he asked, reminding his audience that the Congress bagged about 10% votes back then.
He said all political parties have differences, and so does the Congress. The challenge, however, lies in surmounting these differences to emerge victorious. “I don’t have any mantra to win the polls. Even if 100 Prashant Kishors join hands, they can’t win an election for you. You will have to do it on your own, with all your shortcomings,” he said.