A leader of the Indian National Congress from Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh has put a poster outside party office in Lucknow, announcing a reward of Rs 5 lakh for the person who would find election strategist Prashant Kishor and bring him before the party workers.
Congress state president Raj Babbar, who saw the poster just before entering the office, asked party workers to immediately remove it. Babbar claimed it was too early to blame anyone for the poll debacle. He is in Lucknow to hold a two-day post-poll review with all candidates.
The poster was put up by Rajesh Singh, a secretary in the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee. He said that party workers needed some answers this time.
“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 probably it was best for the revival of the party. But now we need answers,” he said.
“They might remove the posters, but this is what many Congress workers are thinking and they would say the same sooner or later,” he added.
Notably, a section in the Uttar Pradesh Congress always complained to the party high command about Kishor’s “autocratic style of functioning” and “unsolicited interference” in organisational matters. Even Babbar and Kishor were at loggerheads over issues related to the party organisation. Babbar had once remarked that Rahul Gandhi and not Kishor is his leader.
Kishor, who is regarded as the brain behind the BJP’s massive victory in the 2014 General Election and Nitish Kumar’s win in Bihar in 2015, was roped in to repeat a Bihar in Uttar Pradesh. However, he has failed miserably this time.
Meanwhile, Babbar, defended the party and said: “Congress’ alliance with Samajwadi Party was not responsible for the rout of the party. Most had agreed that alliance was the need of the hour. I do not find the alliance to be responsible for the results.”