Prashant Kishor on Congress’ Lok Sabha wins: ‘Not revival of brand Rahul Gandhi, no widespread anger against Modi’

In his first interview after getting the 2024 General Election poll predictions wrong, political pundit Prashant Kishor said the Congress' wins in Maharashtra and UP are a chance, not a great revival.

First Published8 Jun 2024, 10:10 AM IST
File image of Jan Suraaj party chief and political strategist-activist Prashant Kishor
File image of Jan Suraaj party chief and political strategist-activist Prashant Kishor (PTI)

Jan Suraaj party chief and political strategist Prashant Kishor believes the Congress' improved performance in the recently concluded 2024 Lok Sabha elections is "not a sign" a the revival of "brand" Rahul Gandhi, India Today reported.

Speaking to the channel after the general elections and after his results predictions fell short of reality, Kishore said he does not think the Congress scion's image has been elevated among the general public, "only among his supporters, voters, and party cadres."

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On NDA leader Narendra Modi, Kishor believes there is no widespread anger against Modi, adding that the BJP's vote share remained largely unchanged.

"The sense was that there is a lot of discontent, at least in pockets. There is, you know, maybe a little bit of anger also, but there's no widespread anger against Modi. There is no positive clamour from the opposition. And by and large, the status quo was being maintained," he said.

Also Read | Prashant Kishor brushes off trolls with a quip: ‘Those who are RATTLED...must keep plenty of water handy on June 4th’

On Congress Performance

When asked if winning 99 seats in the LS elections signals a revival of "brand Rahul Gandhi, Kishor replied, "Not really. It has revived Rahul Gandhi's image only in front of his supporters, voters and cadre. Amongst them, there is a greater confidence that he is the man who can lead them to victory," he said.

"We can see it like this: if your son is going to fail, and he gets 60 per cent marks, you will rejoice. And if your other son normally gets 90 per cent marks, and he gets 70 per cent, you will be disappointed," he added.

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On the Congress' wins in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, Kishor stated that this election saw the party's third worst electoral results in its history.

"When Indira Gandhi lost power in 1977, Congress still managed to win 154 seats. Winning 99 seats is not something that is signalling a great revival of Congress. It just goes to show that, yes, they have a chance," Kishor remarked.

On Wrong Predictions

Notably, this is Kishor's first media interaction after the 2024 Lok Sabha results were announced. It also comes in the shadow of the incident with journalist Karan Thapar, where Kishor seemingly lost his temper after being questioned about making "wrong" result predictions in previous elections.

In a post on the social media site X (formerly known as Twitter), the political pundit addressed reactions to his poll prediction by telling netizens to "keep water ready." He reiterated his belief in the BJP's return to power.

In a heated argument with Thapar over predictions regarding Congress' loss in the 2022 Himachal Pradesh elections, Kishor reacted negatively and asked for video proof from the veteran journalist. When presented with online news reports, Kishor rejected them and added that he would quit politics if Thapar brought video proof.

Also Read | Lok Sabha Results: Prashant Kishor’s prediction goes horribly wrong; BJP far from ’No. 1’ in Bengal amid TMC strong run

Poll Outcome Reflections

Reflecting on the poll outcome, however, Kishor was positive that "everybody has something to be happy about". While admitting his "pre-poll assessments were wrong in terms of numbers," he sought to stress the importance of "understanding things beyond the numbers."

"Yes, we got it wrong by at least 20 per cent. We predicted around 300, and the numbers were at 240 for the BJP, which was a 20 per cent difference," he explained.

While stating that he should not have got into numbers, Kishor added that if you just go beyond the numbers, it's not that wrong. "Because ultimately, they got 36 per cent vote share, which is the status quo. 0.7 per cent down in terms of vote share."

Also Read | ‘Yes, I and pollsters like me got it wrong’: What Prashant Kishor said on his Lok Sabha elections assessment

Kishor and at least 10 exit polls projected a majority for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with 350 plus seats, while three exit polls also predicted 400 plus seats. Whereas the INDIA bloc was projected to get less than 180 seats.

However, on the counting day, almost all the exit polls failed in their predictions, as the NDA got 292 seats and the INDIA bloc 232 seats — a fairly close fight.

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First Published:8 Jun 2024, 10:10 AM IST
HomePoliticsNewsPrashant Kishor on Congress’ Lok Sabha wins: ‘Not revival of brand Rahul Gandhi, no widespread anger against Modi’

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