In a huge political development in India, the country’s principal opposition Congress Party has asked Prashant Kishor, 44, top political strategist to join the party and play an active role. The move has the backing of all the three Gandhis — Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka.
PK, as he is universally called, has got three days to take a decision, with the Gandhis lobbing the ball firmly in his court.
A four-hour long meeting was held in New Delhi with the entire Gandhi family present and Rahul Gandhi’s trusted aide K C Venugopal (Congress general secretary, organisation) and Harish Rawat (Congress in-charge of Punjab).
The presence of all three Gandhis (also known as the Congress High Command) in the meeting is seen as politically highly significant.
A transformational agent
PK has been the X factor and transformational agent for many political parties and leaders in India. It all started with Narendra Modi in 2014. After that win, Kishor fell out with Amit Shah and walked out to advise the Congress.
While he helped Amarinder Singh win Punjab, PK’s campaign for Uttar Pradesh (UP), where the Congress allied with the Samajwadi Party of Akhilesh Yadav, was a dud.
PK has run campaigns for the nation’s leading political lights like Mamata Banerjee, who just became West Bengal’s Chief Minister for the third time, M K Stalin (Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu) and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy (Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh) among others.
Recently he had several meetings with Sharad Pawar (Nationalist Congress Party supremo), which set off a political buzz.
Political circles abuzz
If PK does join Congress, he will bring his unparalleled access to the party for an opposition tie up against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The ace political strategist has that mandate from both — Banerjee and Pawar, two of India’s most astute political leaders.
Sources told Gulf News that PK wants organisational changes in the Congress, starting from block level elections. A nine member committee comprising of top domain experts like Raghuram Rajan, former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor (currently Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business) will be formed to advise the Congress president.
Will he, won’t he?
After the Banerjee win in West Bengal, PK had said he’s quitting the consultancy space for something that excites him more.
An ambitious man, PK had earlier joined the Janata Dal (United) in Bihar and was being talked about as Nitish Kumar’s heir. However, they later fell out and Kumar sacked him in January 2020.
PK will have a lot on his plate if he does say yes to the Congress offer as two big elections — Uttar Pradesh and Punjab — are coming up, where he and Priyanka Gandhi are expected to don the mantle and run the show.
So will he or won’t he? The offer has been made. Over to PK.