Kishor's comments come days after Mamata Banerjee met NCP supremo Sharad Pawar in Mumbai and called for a united fight against the BJP, while taking swipes at the Congress leadership.

Prashant Kishor speaking at a meeting
news Politics Thursday, December 02, 2021 - 15:32

In an apparent swipe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, poll strategist Prashant Kishor on Thursday, December 2, claimed that the leadership of the party is not the “divine right” of an individual, when the party has lost 90% elections in the last 10 years. “The IDEA and SPACE that #Congress represents is vital for a strong opposition. But Congress’ leadership is not the DIVINE RIGHT of an individual especially, when the party has lost more than 90% elections in last 10 years. Let opposition leadership be decided Democratically,” Kishor said.

His comment came a day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s comment that there was no UPA anymore. Kishor’s remark sparked a sharp response from the Congress, with party spokesperson Pawan Khera saying on Twitter, “The individual being discussed here is pursuing his Divine Duty to struggle and save Indian democracy from the RSS. A professional without ideological commitment is free to advice parties/individuals on how to contest elections but he cannot set the agenda of our politics."

Congress leader Kapil Sibal, a prominent member of the 'group of 23', also called for opposition unity and said the UPA without the Congress will be a body without a soul.

Kishor, who is the head of the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), had recently been the political advisor of Mamata Bannerjee ahead of the Assembly elections in West Bengal. A few months ago, Kishor had held talks with the Congress leadership over his possible induction into the party. He had also met former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and there was serious talk over his entry into the party but it did not materialise.

Kishor had taken potshots at the Congress two months ago as well, saying those looking for a quick revival of the opposition led by the grand old party following the Lakhimpur Kheri incident are in for a big disappointment as there are no quick-fix solutions to its "deep-rooted problems".

On Wednesday, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee met NCP supremo Sharad Pawar in Mumbai and called for a united fight against the BJP, while taking barely veiled swipes at the Congress leadership. While Banerjee made remarks like "there is no UPA now" and one can not achieve anything by staying abroad "most of the time", Pawar said leadership was not an issue at present and all like-minded parties were welcome to join the fight against the BJP.

Interacting with members of civil society, Banerjee claimed she had suggested to the Congress that an advisory council of prominent personalities from civil society be set up to give a direction to the opposition but it was "in vain". If all "regional parties come together", it would be easy to defeat the BJP, she said.

The TMC has inducted several Congress leaders in its fold. Recently, 12 out of 17 Congress MLAs in Meghalaya defected to the party.

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