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Prashant Kishor seeks special advisory panel for decisions in Congress, national role for himself

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(This story originally appeared in on Aug 04, 2021)

Congress is close to deciding on the induction of Prashant Kishor and his position in the organization, which comes in response to the election strategist seeking a “national role” and “a part” in the decision-making of the party’s affairs.

Well-placed Congress sources said Kishor has suggested that the leadership form a special advisory committee, under the chairpersonship of party president Sonia Gandhi, that will take make political decisions. The panel is to be a “compact body” that can discuss and finalise proposals on political moves — ranging from alliances to strategies to campaigns. After doing the necessary ground work, the panel will put the proposals before the party’s apex decision-making body, Congress Working Committee, which is a larger group with representations from all regions and communities, for further deliberations and approval.

The suggestion is that select party leaders besides Kishor be part of this panel, it is learnt. “He wants a national role, and is not hooked on the usual sought-after designations like AICC general secretary,” a senior leader said. The post of AICC general secretary remains the top organisational position in Congress, which opens the possibility of it also being the possible perch for the high profile poll strategist.

There is a buzz among insiders that Congress may go in for an organisational overhaul in the coming months, which would include fresh appointments and also creation of new panels.

The special panel, however, will be the focus area as the Congress chief moves closer to a final decision. “A decision can be taken any time. The negotiations and the in-house deliberations have been on for over one and half months now,” a source said.

After being the election manager for Trinamool Congress, and helping the Mamata Banerjee-led party to fend off an aggressive BJP campaign in the West Bengal assembly polls and win a third term in the state, Kishor entered into talks with the Congress leadership for joining the party. He has also submitted a proposal on how the Congress grassroots should be reorganised to make it resurgent.

What has boosted Kishor’s candidature is the support of key satraps who have a positive opinions about his skills, with some of them having worked with him in the management of elections. “He is seen as a good input to the party and he was told to join without any conditions,” a senior functionary said.

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