Prashant Kishor. Photo: PTI/File
Kozhikode: Even though Prashant Kishor demanded a non-Gandhi leader in one of the top positions of Congress, his proposal never questioned the authority of the Gandhi family. In fact, he made it very clear that Congress as a political party can't survive without the Gandhi family at the helm. He implicitly proposed Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial face for the General Elections 2024. He also wanted Sonia Gandhi either as UPA chairperson or as the party president. He also assigned Priyanka Gandhi a more important role, that of the general secretary, coordination. So, it looks like he had some other valid reasons to decline the offer to join the party. In both options presented by Prashant to revamp the top positions, Rahul was proposed as Leader of the Parliamentary Board. A 'Shadow Cabinet' and a 'Brain Trust' would work under Rahul, as per the plan accessed by mathrubhumi.com.
A non-Gandhi as president or working president of the Congress was also in the proposal. However, the master plan clearly divides the party into organisational and electoral fronts - a double-engined vehicle. A 'head of elections task force' was proposed, who would directly report to the president. Similarly, separate zonal, parliamentary and assembly constituencies managers and booth-level managers were proposed to work for elections. This is parallel to the current organisational structure of the party.
The presentation of PK starts with a critical analysis of Congress. It lists out the findings of Prashant for the collapse of Congress. He found four reasons, including 'structural weaknesses and lack of connection with the masses' for the rout of the grand old party. 'Perhaps for the first time, Congress leadership does not appear fully aligned in terms of goals, strategy, method, approach, tactics and the way forward; leading to a complete lack of cohesion, at times confusion and stalemate,' he says in the report.
It also states that Congress ceased working as a 'democratic organisation'. Congress had 61 presidents between 1885 and 1998, with an average tenure of 1.85 years; from 1998 till present, the party witnessed only two presidents (Sonia- 21 years & Rahul- 2 years), it notes.
The report calls for an organisational election.
While the report recognises Congress cannot fight the election on its own, it proposes alliances with only Trinamool Congress (West Bengal), NCP (Maharashtra), DMK (Tamil Nadu), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, National Conference (J&K), YSRCP (Andhra) and the northeastern allies.
Though the proposal acknowledges that Congress' strength to face BJP directly has reduced drastically, it demands the party to go alone in the general elections in 17 states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Odisha, Gujarat and Assam.
Prashant Kishor has also proposed a campaign plan till May 2024. It aims to rope-in social media influencers and set up a positive media ecosystem from top to bottom. The campaign strategies are uniform across the country. It also lists out national campaigns to be taken up targeting Narendra Modi.