The Congress and Prashant Kishor have parted ways after a spell of parleys but while the real reason for their 'divorce' has not been divulged by the party, highly-placed sources said that the reason is the political strategist "changing the goalpost on the last minute on the last day".
Sources said that initially, PK, as Kishor is popularly known, met Rahul Gandhi through party leaders Jairam Ramesh and K.C. Venugopal after party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi gave him cold shoulder.
Rahul Gandhi, subsequently, connected to him to party chief Sonia Gandhi who made a committee to look after his suggestions. Initially, PK wanted to manage elections of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and in return was Bihar Congress Presidentship for him.
Sonia Gandhi and party leaders agreed to his condition, and also that he be part of the team to manage 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
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PK then insisted on a presentation on which some party leaders agreed while some disagreed, but everyone was of view that PK be onboard. However sources say when the Congress floated the Empowered Action Group idea, PK backed out and demanded he be given the position of a team leader directly reporting to the party President. This, the Congress refused and amicable parting solution was worked out
The Congress on Tuesday officially announced that election strategist will not be working for the party as he declined to be part of the Empowered Action Group for the 2024 general elections.
The declaration came a day after Sonia Gandhi had announced the constitution of the group.
Congress General Secretary Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet: "Following a presentation and discussion with Prashant Kishor, the Congress President has constituted a Empowered Action Group 2024 & invited him to join the party as part of the group with defined responsibility. He declined. We appreciate his efforts & suggestion given to party."
Kishor, on his part, said that the Congress needs "leadership" and "collective will" to fix its "deep-rooted structural problems".
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"I declined the generous offer of #Congress to join the party as part of the EAG & take responsibility for the elections.
"In my humble opinion, more than me, the party needs leadership and collective will to fix the deep-rooted structural problems through transformational reforms," he said in a series of tweets.