Congress’ “Remarks By Consultants” Jibe After Prashant Kishor’s Poll Advice

The Congress has brushed off the latest tranche of advice and criticism from poll strategist Prashant Kishor, saying “consultants’ remarks” do not require any comment. Mr Kishor, in an exhaustive interview with the Press Trust of India, had given a  checklist for the party and its senior leader Rahul Gandhi yesterday, which also included the advice that he step aside if the party does not perform well.

Asked about Mr Kishor’s remarks today, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said, “I do not answer on remarks by consultants. Talk about political people, what is there to answer on consultants?”

In an interaction with PTI, Mr Kishor had said Mr Gandhi, for all practical purposes, has been running the party for a decade and has been unable to deliver or step aside.

“When you are doing the same work for the last 10 years without any success, there is no harm in taking a break,’ Mr Kishor had said. “You should allow someone else to do it for five years. Your mother did it,” he said, pointing to the time when Sonia Gandhi, after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, had left party matters to PV Narasimha Rao in 1991.

The poll strategist, seen as a stern critic of the Congress, said Mr Gandhi’s practice of running the show is “also anti-democratic”. Mr Kishor, who crafted the winning campaign led by Amarinder Singh in 2017, had also come up with a revival plan for the Congress, but walked out due to disagreements with party leaders over its execution.

After a decade of the UPA rule, the Congress has been tailspin, with the party’s seats, voteshare nationally, and presence and strength in states, dwindling fast.

After its victory in Karnataka last year, Mr Kishor had advised the Congress against “mistaking the assembly poll outcome for a hint of what lies in store in Lok Sabha polls”.

Mr Kishor formally exited as a poll strategist after the Bengal assembly election in 2021 that saw his client Mamata Banerjee achieve her best-ever performance.

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