If I Ever Want to Come Back, PM Modi Will be Welcoming, Says Prashant Kishor
Prashant Kishor revealed that minor disagreements over the lateral entry of professionals into the government were what led to his departure from the Modi camp.
File photo of Prashant Kishor.
New Delhi: Political strategist and Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) founder, Prashant Kishor on Sunday said that he had been in touch with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for over a year now and said that the PM would be “welcoming” if he ever wanted to campaign for him in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Kishor, however, added that he wanted to move away from political campaigning altogether. Speaking at a session of the Indian School of Business (ISB) Leadership Summit, Kishor said that he had also been in touch with Rahul Gandhi, who he described as a “friend”.
“From March 2015 till last year, when I lost my mother, I was not in touch with the PM. Since then, he and I have reconnected. He (PM) is the boss, I am nobody. Whatever he chooses to speak on, I will respond to that,” Kishor said.
Referring to his decision to campaign for Nitish Kumar in the 2015 Bihar elections, he said, “In his (PM’s) opinion, I was entitled to do what I did. If I ever want to come back, he is welcoming and I am grateful for it. But one does not discuss such things with the Prime Minister.”
Kishor said his conversations with BJP President Amit Shah had been similar.
“My conversations with Amit Shah are the same. It’s just that Prime Minister speaks more about the affairs of the government and Amit Shah speaks more about the party.”
He revealed that minor disagreements over the lateral entry of people into government were what led to his departure from the Modi camp. “Mr. Modi was very receptive to the idea of lateral entry but I was perhaps in a hurry. I wanted to get it done in two or three months but he was perhaps new in his role (as PM) and wanted to settle down first.”
Speaking on Congress’ performance in the Uttar Pradesh elections, a campaign he worked on, Kishor said it was a “humbling” experience.
“The biggest political challenge was reviving the Congress in UP. We presented a plan to Rahul Gandhi and he liked it. In the election, we were humbled and that was the best thing that could have happened to us. We didn’t take up anything after that. After UP, I decided I was not going to get involved if I could not execute. Since then, we (Kishor and Rahul Gandhi) have been friends. We meet, we talk, but we agree to disagree. What is the point in joining hands if we cannot be on the same page?”
Kishor said that he took up the 2017 Punjab election as a challenge because he wanted to “settle scores” with the Aam Aadmi Party for beating the BJP in 2015.
“In 2017, it was being said that AAP was going to sweep Punjab. We thought if we could get Congress, with all its shortcomings, to win in Punjab we would know the art of campaigning. It was a bit childish, but wanted to settle a score with the AAP.”
When asked if Priyanka Gandhi should be leading the Congress rather than her brother, Kishor said it would be unfair to Rahul Gandhi to not give him a chance. “Congress is a century old party. They may down, but you should leave it up to the wisdom of the Congressmen and Congresswomen to decide their leader. It would be unfair to him to not give him a chance and talk about other people leading the Congress. In Punjab, the same Congress won the biggest election victory in Punjab since Independence. What makes you think the Congress can’t win? They can.”
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