The blame game has already started in Congress party with Prashant Kishor the chief strategist for Congress party in Uttar Pradesh said that he was not given a free hand and also that the Uttar Pradesh debacle could be blamed on Rahul’s coterie. Prashant Kishor was reacting to the messages Congress has been sending out to him that for poll strategist Prashant Kishor, the time for basking in the glory of past achievements just got over.
Though the Congress registered a resounding victory in Punjab, the win was largely attributed to Captain Amarinder Singh’s charisma and the ten-year anti-incumbency factor against the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP combine rather than Kishor’s campaign strategy. Kishor was explaining the reasons for his debacle in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, where the Congress has been reduced to ashes.
It was Kishor who had persuaded the Congress leadership to go in for an alliance with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and fight the assembly elections under outgoing chief minister Akhilesh Yadav a move that backfired for both the alliance partners. Unlike his stint with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Kishor had a relatively tough assignment with the Congress.
Some say that Prashant Kishore may be right. As according to them, from the beginning, he remained a ‘persona non grata’ in the Congress. At the time of hiring Kishor early last year, Congress leaders had insisted his expertise is needed to help the party adapt to changes in the mode of campaign in the internet age with social media having assumed much significance.
But Kishor found it difficult to implement all his ideas in the grand old party. A few of his suggestions that Rahul Gandhi be declared the party’s UP chief ministerial candidate and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra should lead the campaign were rejected outright by the Congress leadership.
ON the other hand, a section in the Uttar Pradesh Congress had complained to the party high command about Kishor’s “autocratic style of functioning” and “unsolicited interference” in organisational matters, and cited his “unilateral decision” to summon the meetings of party office bearers.