Hired to revive the political fortunes of Congress, poll strategist Prashant Kishor Saturday told party office bearers in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh that in next 15 days an assembly campaign will be launched the likes of which “people have not seen in 20-25 years”. He claimed that the next chief minister in UP will be from Congress.
Addressing the party leaders and office bearers of Lucknow division, including Rae Bareli, Amethi and Sultanpur districts, Kishor said that as many as 9,000 applications have been received for Congress tickets for the next year’s Assembly polls. He also added that out of 812 blocks in the state, party workers have been able to open offices in 400.
He said that BJP’s vote share in UP saw a phenomenal increase in two years —- from 2012 to 2014 —- “not because they did some extraordinary work but only because of the campaign, which made people believe that here is one person, who can resolve all their problems” and thus all the other equations got sidelined.
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“This is why I tell you that six months is enough time. (Party vice-president) Rahul Gandhi had told media persons in Delhi that there would be no alliance in UP and the next CM will be of Congress. You can call me crazy, but I assure you that next government will be of Congress. In next 15 days, you will see the campaign of Congress starting on ground. It will be one, the likes of which people have not seen in the past 20-25 years,” Kishor said.
However, he clarified that the preparation for this special campaign was not done by him but by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Kishor said that the party understands that there might be problem of resources as it has not been in power for past 27 years. He, however, assured that the district units would be authorised to arrange for resources.
Reminding them of the tasks for next 10 days, Kishor said that each district has been sent a letter by state president Nirmal Khatri, where they have been asked to decide the issues that should be included in the party manifesto.
Kishor also reminded leaders that each claimant for the party ticket would have to give name of at least one worker from each booth of his constituency, otherwise his application will not be accepted.
Earlier in the day, party leaders again repeated the demand to actively engage Priyanka Gandhi during the election campaign. They also demanded that cadre should be considered and caste equations kept in mind before deciding the candidates.
This was last in the series of divisional level meetings conducted by Kishor in UP.