Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday put in limbo the induction of poll strategist Prashant Kishor Pandey into the party, for violating the condition she had put, which is to not work for any other party once he joins the Congress. Sonia was apparently irked by Kishor, known as PK, for travelling to Hyderabad for finalising a deal with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao before his Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) signed a contract with the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) despite the fact that the Congress is its main rival party.
The Congress general secretary and chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala refused to comment on the Telangana development or say anything on PK's entry in the Congress while addressing a press conference on a meeting Sonia Gandhi held at her residence with the eight-member group she had set up last week to study a presentation by PK.
Surjewala also announced a three-day 'navchetan chintan shivir' from May 13 in Udaipur to introspect on ways to strengthen the party and face the poll challenges. The strategy for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections will also be decided in this shivir to be attended by over 400 party leaders, Surjewala added.
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The Congress panel set up by Sonia Gandhi to work out a revival plan, as suggested by poll strategist Prashant Kishor, had submitted a report on its 'findings' on Friday.
Surjewala also said, "The Congress President has decided to convene a Chintan Shivir of the Indian National Congress Nav Sankalp in Udaipur on May 13th, 14th and May 15, 2022. About 400 Congressmen and women from every state will participate."
Two members of the panel, KC Venugopal and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, met Sonia Gandhi at her residence to submit the report to her on Friday.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has openly praised Prashant Kishor, saying that he is a "brand". Senior Congress leader Veerapa Moily has said that those opposing Kishor's entry to the party are "anti-reformers".
Some leaders have also said that Kishor's relations with a few regional parties could benefit Congress if he formally joins the party.
(with agency inputs)