Prashant Kishor is the man who played a smart bet on PM Narendra Modi in 2014 and encashed the Modi wave. Not only this, but he also gained brownie points by ‘crowning’ Nitish Kumar in Bihar and Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal. Swayed by these perfectly timed bets, sinking Congress approached Prashant Kishor, whom party thought existed the potential to revive the grand old party. But PK declined Congress’ offer. Is PK not interested in helping the party reclaim its lost status as the main opposition party or the matter is something different, let’s find out.
PK declined Congress’ offer
The door between poll strategist Prashant Kishor and the Congress party is shut. The initiative to rope in PK for the sake of revival of the Congress, was reportedly an initiative of the Gandhis. Several meetings were held between PK and party head Sonia Gandhi, hence it was speculated that some sort of a deal was about to be sealed between the two.
At the time there were wide speculations about PK joining the grand old party, PK announced on the micro-blogging platform Twitter that he had declined the offer of party to join the party as “part of the EAG (Empowered Action Group) and take responsibility for the elections.”
He also mentioned that Congress needs leadership and collective will to fix the deep-rooted structural problems through transformational reforms.
Congress’ effort to rope in PK
Congress is witnessing its worst phase since its formation, as the party’s base is constantly declining. The situation is so grave for Congress, that the party is on the verge of losing its main opposition status at the centre very soon.
Looking at the situation Congress is in presently it seemed that a deal between PK and the party was certain. This speculation was fuelled furthermore when it was known that Sonia Gandhi herself is leading the talks.
PK presented a 600-slide presentation of proposals to revive the electoral fortunes of the grand old party. Randeep Surjewala, the General Secretary of the party did announce that Sonia Gandhi had invited PK to join the party as a part of EAM with “defined responsibilities”.
As PK declined Congress’ offer it was being said the main reason behind the fallout was PK’s ambitious demands. Media reports claimed that PK wanted to be directly in charge of the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections and wanted to hold crucial decision-making powers like distribution of tickets and forming alliances. All of the above mentioned PK’s demands simply meant challenging and disrupting Congress’ age-old hierarchy and power equations.
This was Congress’ take on the pros and cons of PK not joining the party. However, when looked at from a wider perspective PK’s No to Congress displays his entitled behaviour.
Understanding PK’s ‘No to Congress’
Poll strategist Prashant Kishor was always going to decline Congress’ offer of joining the party. So, the offer to join the party was just a formality. Prashant Kishor is the lucky chap, who might have many tragedies attached to his name, but he has a sense of perfect timing.
If someone has followed PK’s journey till now, it will be clearly evident that no matter who wins the election or who loses it, PK always earns. He is s pro when it comes to choosing good opportunities and encashing them to enhance his own credibility as a ‘poll strategist’. He is the Aamir Khan of Indian political scenario who always chooses a good script.
PK’s alliance with PM Modi in 2014, Nitish Kumar in 2015, Capt. Amarinder Singh in 2017 among others clearly establish how he encashes the political opportunity banking on the ongoing political equations. This is what went wrong with Congress. Even a villager sitting at a nukkad in some remote area knows that Congress has lost the battle long before, as PK is smart enough to analyse that spending time on Congress is neither going to reap him any benefits, nor is going to uplift his image in the electoral campus.
This trait of poll strategist PK saved him from being a part of sinking Congress and his tweet establishes this fact. In his tweet, PK also tried to show the mirror to Congress by diagnosing the syndrome Congress is inflicted with i.e. leadership crisis and lack of structure.