Ahead of Sonia meet, Cong panel submits report on Kishor’s proposal for revamp | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Ahead of Sonia meet, Cong panel submits report on Kishor’s proposal for revamp

By, New Delhi
Apr 22, 2022 02:30 AM IST

The committee comprising AK Antony, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik and others, has given its inputs ahead of Prashant Kishor’s final meeting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi any time over the next few days to decide if the strategist will become an office bearer of the party.

A committee appointed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi has submitted its report on recommendations made by election strategist Prashant Kishor during deliberations over the past week to transform the party, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Election strategist Prashant Kishor. (HT/File)
Election strategist Prashant Kishor. (HT/File)

The committee comprising senior leaders AK Antony, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik and others, has given its inputs ahead of Kishor’s final meeting with Gandhi any time over the next few days to decide if the strategist will become an office bearer of the party. Kishor’s seven-year revival plan detailed over a nine-hour presentation, later condensed into a three-hour version, was presented to senior party leaders last weekend.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

HT has learnt that in a short report of four pages, the senior leaders have commented on each of the suggestions for changes in party structure and tactics. One of the people aware of the details said the committee members added their advice on 45-year-old Kishor’s possible induction as an office bearer. At least two leaders, AK Antony and Digvijaya Singh, told Gandhi that Kishor’s advice is welcome and should be used but he should not be made an office bearer or senior party leader as that would “create chaos” in the ranks, the person added.

Antony and Singh did not respond to HT’s queries.

While some senior leaders are viewing Kishor’s induction with caution, others such as former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath endorsed his joining, HT has learnt. Nath proposed a new position of general secretary (strategy) to accommodate Kishor.

Also Read | Prashant Kishor again meets Cong’s brass, Gehlot calls him a brand in himself

In the course of his meetings with the senior leadership, Kishor conveyed that he could not work with several layers of hierarchy and wanted to report directly to the Congress President. This has proved to be a bone of contention for many of the senior leaders who are currently the eyes and ears of the Gandhi family. Seeing this pushback on the “general secretary” tag, another proposal on the table is to induct Kishor as an adviser to Sonia Gandhi. That would pitch Kishor in a position similar to the one occupied by Ahmed Patel, who served as political secretary to the Congress president before becoming treasurer till he died of Covid last year.

However, there is a sense of unease among many in the ranks of the party about an outsider parachuting into such a key role. The unease, however, is offset by the promise of hope that his entry brings. Kishor’s CV boasts of winning campaigns for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, for the mahagathbandhan in Bihar in 2015, for the Aam Aadmi Party in 2020 and Trinamool’s West Bengal campaign last year.

Incidentally, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh, has been supportive of Kishor’s induction. She is said to have told senior leaders that “everyone has tried and failed; he wants to do something new, so we should give him a chance”.

While Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi are in favour of inducting Kishor, they did not want it to seem like a unilateral decision, party insiders said. So, at Sonia Gandhi’s residence, the consultations with all the chief ministers and key leaders took place with Kishor at hand, ready to respond to any queries over his plans for their areas or their work in the organisation.

Kishor’s plan is to revive the Congress so that it is able to win the Lok Sabha elections in 2029.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections Result, Lok Sabha Election 2024 Live, Lok Sabha Elections Results 2024, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Sunetra Choudhury is the National Political Editor of the Hindustan Times. With over two decades of experience in print and television, she has authored Black Warrant (Roli,2019), Behind Bars: Prison Tales of India’s Most Famous (Roli,2017) and Braking News (Hachette, 2010). Sunetra is the recipient of the Red Ink award in journalism in 2016 and Mary Morgan Hewett award in 2018.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On