NEW DELHI: Political strategist Prashant Kishor on Thursday dropped enough hints of his impending national role in the Congress to ready an united opposition front to take on Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party in 2024 as he quit as the adviser to Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, the post given to him in March.
It was on Prashant's advice to the Gandhis to make Navjot Singh Sidhu, a rising star, as the Punjab Congress President, much to the chagrin of Amarinder Singh, who got another shock on he wriggling out from designing the CM's campaign for the Assembly elections early next year.
In his resignation letter to the chief minister, Prashant wrote: "As you are aware, in view of my decision to take a temporary break from an active role in public life, I have not been able to take over the responsibilities as your Principal Adviser. Since I am yet to decide on my future course of action, I write to request you to kindly relieve me from this responsibility.”
He dropped enough hints of preparing for the next assignment as his stress was that "since I am yet to decide on my future course of action, I write to request you to kindly relieve me from this responsibility.”
The Chief Minister’s Office has not confirmed yet that his resignation has been received. A senior official said he had “no idea” about the resignation. The development was, however, long awaited ever since Prashant had announced to hang his boots from strategising after the West Bengal Assembly elections. After that, he had not visited Punjab although he had met Amarinder in Delhi recently after the CM had appeared before the Mallikarjun Kharge panel.
Immediately after his appointment, Prashant had held meetings with the state government officials and MLAs, but he stopped visiting Punjab since June and stayed put in Delhi.
He had designed Amarinder’s strategy ahead of the 2017 Assembly elections and was credited with giving Congress an edge over Aam Aadmi Party(AAP), perceived at that time to get huge traction in the state. After he designed the Congress campaign, the party had won a handsome majority with 77 seats in an Assembly of 117 members.
Prashant was appointed in March in the rank of a Cabinet minister but with a token honorarium, though entitled to perks including a government bungalow and half a dozen staff members, free transport, free air travel, telephone and medical facilities. He was also allotted an office in the civil secretariat of Punjab in Chandigarh, but he never stepped in.
His appointment was seen as Amarinder's message that he would be leading the party's campaign in the upcoming Assembly elections. His snap resignation is a setback to Amarinder's camp, thought leaders close to the CM said he was still persuading Prashant to help the Congress in Punjab since there is no clash with the Lok Sabha polls two years away.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)