Nation

Sonia Gandhi to take call on Prashant Kishor’s induction into Congress for upcoming Assembly polls

New Delhi: The Congress party appears to be passing through a bad phase as factional feud is coming out in open not only in the state wings but also in the central unit. This became more obvious when a group of 23 senior Congress leaders held a meeting to usher-in changes in the party to prepare it for the future challenges. The latest issue, however, is related to the induction of poll strategist Prashant Kishor in the party, if we believe reports.

According to media media reports, Congress President Sonia Gandhi is expected to take a final call on the induction of Prashant Kishor in the party as she has held discussions with several senior leaders on the issue.

Citing sources, reports say that some of these leaders have raised objections over his inclusion in the party, while others have favoured it as they feel Kishor will bring a lot to the table for the party. The decision is learnt to be pending at Sonia Gandhi’s end.

The group of 23 leaders, who had written to Gandhi last year seeking an overhaul of the organisation, is learnt to have objected to Prashant Kishor, joining the Congress as the matter was discussed among them at a meeting.

Prashant Kishor, populary known as PK, recently met Rahul Gandhi amid talk of his joining the Congress party and assuming a key role of election management, but the issue is pending as no final call has been taken. He also met General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi and interim chief Sonia Gandhi, and is learnt to have given an election plan to the Congress leadership during these deliberations.

As the Congress is preparing for upcoming Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and some northeastern states next year, Kishor’s induction is likely to play a key role in the poll management.

Kishor has successfully handled Assembly poll campaigns of the Trinamool Congress, the DMK and the YSRCP and has relations across party lines. During the last assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, he also worked with the Congress and assisted it in Punjab and was Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s adviser.

As Kishor reportedly wants a full-fledged role and decision making authority on election related issues, senior party leaders are not happy with the idea of giving free hand to one person on the selection of candidates.

On the other hand, after successive poll debacles, the Congress is in search of advisors, especially after the sudden demise of an ace strategist like Ahmed Patel.

Notably, Prashant Kishor worked with the BJP in the run-up to 2014 Lok Sabha elections and thereafter joined the JD(U) and was the party’s vice president.