Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram today said despite much speculation, the issue of party leadership was not one that was included in election strategist Prashant Kishor’s presentation, which included “very impressive data” and analysis. The party, he told AGRASMARTCITY in an exclusive interview, may “take action on some proposals”.
“The PK plan has nothing to do with leadership issues. Has not listened to any of Priyanka’s proposals for the President,” he added, referring to reports brought in by some media outlets. The leadership issue, he said, would be resolved by the AICC with internal elections by the end of August.
Mr Kishor, Mr Chidambaram told AGRASMARTCITY, had presented “very impressive data” on “elections, voting patterns – by segment, by demographic and candidate”. “I don’t think the party has such data in an intelligible or retrievable form … His analysis of the data is impressive. We intend to take action on some of the proposals,” Mr Chidambaram said.
After months of negotiations and speculation about Congress ’acceptance of his offer to rejuvenate the party as part of it, Mr Kishor had rejected the party’s proposal to join his“ Empowered Action Group ”yesterday. His parting blow was a sharp statement about the party needing a “collective will” to solve its problems.
The congress, Mr Chidambaram said, did not question Mr Kishor about his refusal to accept the offer made on Monday. The election strategist, he said, may want to “retain his position as a consultant adviser”.
“He may be advising TRS, TMC and Jagan Reddy. He may want to retain his role as an advisor to these parties … He needs to know his relationship with IPAC after he accepts the Congressional offer,” he said.
He however clarified that the agreement of IPAC – the organization founded by Mr Kishor – with Telangana Rashtra Samithi was not a factor for Congress.
Sources close to Prashant Kishor and Congress have indicated that the party is not ready to commit to the comprehensive reforms it proposes, which will take most veterans out of their comfort zone. From Congress, there are broad indications of Mr Kishor’s lack of ideological commitment – which includes separation from other parties – and is unpredictable.
Acknowledging that leadership was an issue – although none was flagged by Mr Kishor in his presentation – Mr Chidambaram, said it was being “flown” and would be resolved by August. The party, meanwhile, should be prepared to face the next round of state elections.
“I am worried about the party’s readiness, it will be too late by August. We need to prepare the party now – in terms of communication, in terms of election management, organization,” he said, pointing out professional help is needed now for election management.