Political strategist Prashant Kishor on Tuesday met not just the Gandhi siblings — Rahul and Priyanka — but also Sonia Gandhi, sparking buzz of a strategy in the works to halt the BJP juggernaut in the 2024 elections.
There was speculation that the meeting at Rahul Gandhi’s residence was related to the Punjab and Uttar Pradesh elections as leaders such as former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat, who also is the Congress in-charge for Punjab, and KC Venugopal, general secretary (organisation), were spotted entering the premises.
However, sources aware of the developments said since the entire Gandhi family was present for the meeting, the agenda was national politics — specifically sprucing up a blueprint for the 2024 polls.
The meeting also assumes significance as Kishor and Rahul Gandhi met after almost five years, following a strain in their bond since the UP elections in 2017 where the ‘UP Ki Ladki’ strategy and slogan failed to take off.
In private, after the results were out, Kishor said this was expected as the Congress was stubborn and arrogant. He also said that there was no question of working with the party in the future but he would often stay in touch with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
The poll strategist, who shares a bonhomie with regional satraps, also met NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar thrice last month, signalling talks were on for a consolidated front against the BJP. This was accentuated by the spectacular victory of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the recent polls in which Kishor played a crucial role. Banerjee was congratulated by several opposition leaders for her feat, with many political observers calling it a soft signal of unity.
While Kishor is of the view that a “third front” per say is a futile exercise — he had earlier said he doesn’t believe a “third or fourth front can challenge BJP as history has also shown such fronts do not have capacity”, the latest meeting with the Gandhis hints at a major plan in the works to come up with not just an opposition bloc but a face to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.