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Did Prashant Kishor just refuse to be Gandhis’ scapegoat for the 2024 Lok Sabha loss?

Many are seeing this offer from Congress to Prashant Kishor as just an attempt to find the scapegoat for the Gandhis

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor has declined the Congress offer to join the Empowered Action Group (EAG) 2024 of the Congress party. He was invited to join the party as part of the group with defined responsibility. The offer from the Congress side was made after Prashant Kishor gave a long presentation to the senior leadership sharing his master plan to revive the comatose party.

Declining the offer, Prashant Kishor said, “I declined the generous offer of #congress to join the party as part of the EAG & take responsibility for the elections.”

Further, he added, “In my humble opinion, more than me the party needs leadership and collective will to fix the deep rooted structural problems through transformational reforms.”

Many are seeing this offer from Congress to Prashant Kishor as just an attempt to find the scapegoat for the Gandhis when they lose yet another Lok Sabha election under the family leadership. By appointing Prashant Kishor to the EAG and making him the face of their election campaign, Gandhis could have avoided direct responsibility in case of another electoral reversal.

Under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi (and since 2019 Priyanka Gandhi Vadra), Congress has suffered a drubbing in both the 2014 and 2019 General Elections. Not only that, Congress has kept losing state after state to Narendra Modi-led BJP and has been reduced to state governments in only 2 places, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh. It is a minor ally in Jharkhand and Maharashtra governments as well.

While the Gandhis have managed to keep their hold on the party so far, another drubbing at the hands of Narendra Modi in 2024 maybe a bit too much for the Congress workers. So far, despite some dissent from “G-23“, Gandhis have maintained their stranglehold on the party. To continue their run at the helm of Congress in case of yet another defeat, they need someone who can be thrown under the bus after the 2024 elections.

Passing the blame on to the others and keeping hold of the party has worked very well for Gandhis so far. Even after the humiliating defeat in 5 assembly elections, Gandhis came under no criticism whatsoever while state presidents of all 5 states were asked to tender their resignations. Even though the entire campaign was run by Rahul and Priyanka, the blame was for state presidents to take.

Prashant Kishor was the ideal man for that job, he is very high profile, he claims credit for every win by any of his clients, even if that client was always going to win anyway, so he could have been blamed for the electoral loss as well. Gandhis would have said that they just followed the plan shared by Kishor and it didn’t work so he is the one to blame for any loss. However, Kishor seems to have avoided the trap and has steered clear of Gandhis’ intention to thrust the responsibility of the Lok Sabha election on him.

Prashant Kishor won’t have been the first scapegoat for the Gandhis

This wouldn’t have been the first time when Congress would have blamed an external consultant for their electoral reversals. Back in 2019 when Narendra Modi returned to power with a thumping victory, Congress had tried to pass the blame to Data Analyst Praveen Chakravarty.

Chakravarty, who was the Head of the Congress Data Analytics Department ahead of the 2019 elections, was called BJP mole in Congress office after the party’s defeat in 2019. He faced all the criticism for the party’s disastrous campaign and the subsequent defeat. However, after blaming him for the poor showing, Congress promoted him a few months later, perhaps a reward for shielding the Gandhis from direct blame.

However, looks like Prashant Kishor is in no mood to serve as the Gandhis’ scapegoat, and is happy with his regional clients.

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Amit Kelkar
Amit Kelkar
a Pune based IT professional with keen interest in politics

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