After its poor performance in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Congress has been making plans for a mahagatbandhan before the 2019 polls. Amidst all of that, a poster emerged outside the party office in Lucknow, which announces a Rs 5 lakh reward for anybody who can find Prashant Kishor. The poster was reportedly put up by a Congress leader from Ballia district.
Kishor, an election strategist, was hired by the Congress for the 2017 Assembly election. He has been untraceable since the party lost the election in the state. He has also been facing criticism for his absence.
Congress Defends Prashant Kishor
However, top Congress leaders on Tuesday threw their weight firmly behind Congress’ star poll strategist. Taking to Twitter, senior leaders Randeep Surjewala said:
The New Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, also took to Twitter to show his support for the poll strategist.
Fully endorse this! As I have said many times before, PK & his team and their work was absolutely critical to our victory in Punjab! https://t.co/QtzoHdjPx6— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) March 21, 2017
Earlier, state president Raj Babbar spotted the poster and asked party workers to remove it, according to several media reports.
Rajesh Singh, a secretary in the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, asserted that he put up the poster on behalf “all Congressmen”.
“For the last one year, we have been made to work like fools... without asking any questions. We were told to work as he (Kishor) wanted us to without any ‘ifs and buts’... we did so thinking that it was probably best for the revival of the party. But now we need answers,” he told The Indian Express.
After Rahul Gandhi’s Return, Congress to Review Poll Performance
The development comes on the back of a statement by Congress which said on Monday that the party's central leadership will review its performance in the assembly polls and introspect on the reasons for the party's rout in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Party leader PL Punia said that Congress’ Uttar Pradesh unit has already embarked on the exercise and discussed reasons for the party's performance with all candidates who had contested. He said a review at the national level will be done upon the return of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi from his visit abroad.
PL Punia, Party Leader, CongressCongress party at the state level has already carried out the exercise and reviewed (the performance) with each and every candidate. I think at the national level, the review will take place once our senior leader Rahul Gandhiji is back from abroad.
(With inputs from IANS.)