Sonia Gandhi to take final call on Prashant Kishor’s induction into party as dissent grows

As Prashant Kishor wants a full-fledged role and decision making authority on election-related issues, party leaders are averse of giving free hand to one person on the selection of candidates.

New Delhi, India, September 2 : Congress President Sonia Gandhi will take a final call on inducting election strategist Prashant Kishor in the party as Congress leaders are divided over the issue. According to party sources, Sonia has already started the consultation process. Kishor has more recently worked with the Trinamool Congress and has been credited as the man behind the thumping victory of the party in the West Bengal assembly elections.

As Kishor wants a full-fledged role and decision-making authority on election-related issues, party leaders are averse of giving free hand to one person on the selection of candidates.

After two poll debacles, the congress is in search of advisors. With the demise of seasoned leader Ahmed Patel, Congress has already lost an ace strategist.

Kishor has met Congress leader and party’s former president Rahul Gandhi quietly a few times to discuss the party’s revival ahead of several Assembly elections — including Uttar Pradesh, scheduled to be held next year, sources said.

Rahul has informally discussed the plan with the Congress leaders and sought their view for Kishor’s entry into the party, and to what extent he can be given responsibility for the party’s poll strategy, said party leaders who were part of these deliberations.

Kishor who has also met General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi and interim chief Sonia Gandhi in these deliberations, has given a plan to the Congress leadership and the talking points are being discussed among the senior leaders.

Kishor is likely to take political plunge soon in the Congress.

Sources said that Kishor may be appointed as General Secretary in charge of election management, but party seniors insist that giving sole responsibility of elections to one person is not a good idea as Kishor cannot be trusted in totality. However, nobody is against his induction in the party.

Since Kishor met Rahul Gandhi on July 13 and submitted his plan, many rounds of meetings have taken place within the Congress setup, and some party leaders feel his skills may be used in the elections.

The Congress is preparing for polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and some northeastern states next year. Kishor has recently handled campaigns of the Trinamool Congress, the DMK and the YSRCP and has relations across party lines.

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