Election strategist Prashant Kishor is likely to join the Congress soon, sources say. A decision will be finalised in his meeting with Sonia Gandhi, the third in two weeks.
In his first meeting last week with Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Prashant Kishor, or “PK”, made a presentation outlining a revival plan for the Congress and a strategy to win upcoming polls in states as well as the 2024 general election.
That presentation has been circulated among select Congress leaders, who have been asked for their feedback both on the plan and on Prashant Kishor possibly joining the Congress.
While Prashant Kishor’s Congress 2.0 plan has not been revealed, NDTV has accessed details of the plan he presented to the Gandhis last year. “It is about Winning India in 2024,” the plan said, as it went on to list reasons for the party’s big downslide over the years, especially from 1984 to 2019.
Among them was the failure to capitalise on legacy and achievements, structural weaknesses and lack of connect with the masses.
For the “Reincarnation of the Congress”, the leadership needs to rebuild the party and democratise it, said PK’s plan.
It suggested Sonia Gandhi as Congress president with a “Non-Gandhi” Working President or Vice President, and Rahul Gandhi as Parliamentary Board chief.
“There is a need for a non-Gandhi Working President/Vice President who can effectively work on the ground as per direction of Congress leadership,” it said.
This was step 1 of five strategic decisions that the Congress has to take, the plan said. The others are, to sort out alliances, reclaim the party’s founding tenets, creating an army of grassroots leaders and footsoldiers and creating an ecosystem of “supporting media and digital propagation”.
Some highlights of PK’s plan for Congress 2.0 are:
- The creation of a new Congress for the masses.
- Protecting its values and core principles.
- Destroying a sense of entitlement and sycophancy.
- Fixing the alliance conundrum.
- ‘One Family, One Ticket’, to counter prevalent nepotism.
- Reconstituting organisational bodies via elections across all levels.
- Fixed term, fixed tenures for all posts including Congress President and Congress Working Committee.
- Identify and meaningfully engage 15,000 grassroots leaders and activate 1 crore foot soldiers across India.
- A federation of 200+ like-minded influencers, activists and civil society members to: Coordinate Action, Raise Dissent and Build Synergy.
The Congress claims the recommendations are from a year ago, when talks between the Gandhis and the strategist began, soon after Mamata Banerjee won a huge victory in Bengal. She had roped in Prashant Kishor for her Bengal campaign.
After the talks fell through, reportedly over disagreements on the way forward, the Congress enlisted the help of one of PK’s top aides, Sunil Kanugolu.
The talks resumed after the Congress’ election defeats in five key states in February-March, which threw the party’s survival in doubt.