After a tweet by Congress leader Archana Dalmia sparked speculation around poll strategist Prashant Kishor joining the Congress party, Dalmia, an aide of Rahul Gandhi, clarified that her tweet was based on mere assumptions, and she hasn’t got any confirmation from party leaders on it.
Speculation was rife on Kishor’s joining the grand old party after his meeting with former party chief Rahul Gandhi and AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday. Congress president Sonia Gandhi is also believed to have joined the meeting via zoom call. Dalmia’s tweet, which tagged Prashant Kishor read, “A warm welcome into the Congress family @Prashant Kishore”. Though Dalmia deleted the tweet immediately, it was already picked up by many social media users giving rise to speculation.
Speaking to Outlook, Dalmia, chairperson of the grievances cell of the Congress said that she welcomed Kishor into the party assuming that the meeting was a precursor to it. Dalmia also said that she didn’t get any lead from Congress leaders on this.
“My tweet has nothing to do with the party line. After Kishor’s meeting with the Congress leadership, I just presumed that he will be joining the party,” she said, adding that she deleted the post immediately after realizing that the tweet is getting traction. “It got picked up by Twitter within a few minutes. I was projecting my thoughts so I thought it’s better to delete it,” says Dalmia.
Political circles were abuzz with many theories after Kishor’s meeting with the Gandhi family. Kishor, who has had three meetings with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar is also believed to be working to bring together opposition parties to cobble an alliance against the BJP in the 2024 general elections.
Kishor has emerged as the ‘go-to man’ for various opposition parties after his successful role in the West Bengal Assembly polls, where TMC returned to power after defeating the BJP.
Kishor is the Principal Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who is at loggerheads with Navjot Singh Sidhu. Kishor’s recent meeting with Singh has also generated many rumours ahead of the state elections early next year. Dalmia says that his meeting with the Gandhis could have been about Punjab also. “Rumours and speculations were going on for much before my tweet. The meeting could have been also about Punjab because he is involved in Punjab,” she says.
Kishor’s association with Rahul Gandhi dates back to the 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections, in which the Congress suffered a major drubbing. Though Kishor has been critical of the state of affairs in Congress, he has also maintained that an opposition coalition against the BJP is not possible without taking Congress on board.
Dalmia says that even if Kishor starts new innings with Congress, the party has to be convinced about his strategy.
“The party leadership has to be convinced that Kishor’s story is good enough for them to involve him. This is again an assumption on my part,” she says.