After making his presence felt in Mamata Banerjee's territory, political strategist Prashant Kishor seems to be out to poach leaders from the Congress outside West Bengal. In fact, he has successfully poached two prominent leaders of the grand old party.
Both Sushmita Dev from Assam and Luizinho Faleiro from Goa, who joined the Trinamool Congress in recent times, were considered close to the Gandhi family. It was Faleiro who publicly said that he was approached by none other than Kishor and his team to join the Banerjee-led Trinmool Congress.
After winning the elections in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress is also trying to make an impact in the national arena now.
"We have to see who has got the power to face the current dispensation which is ruling in Delhi and Goa. Definitely, I will support Mamata because she has fought, she has succeeded... She symbolises women's empowerment which can bring this country back on the track of development and progress," Faleiro said, describing the Congress as a "divided house".
Now, the Congress, which was trying to protect the party from poaching by the BJP, needs to keep its guard active against the Trinamool as well.
Even former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has been approached by the Trinamool and he had also held a meeting with the party leaders. Sangma, however, has been approached by the Congress not to leave the party. He is likely to meet Sonia Gandhi soon.
Not only this, Abhishek Banerjee, Trinamool's national General Secretary, has said that Congress should leave armchair politics while his party is capable of fighting the BJP. Responding to this, Congress secretary in charge of communications, Pranav Jha, questioned if the change in heart is due to the ED's summons.
The Congress has been taking inputs on Prashant Kishor joining the party from the members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
Even as several Congress leaders are divided over Kishor's role in ticket distribution, none is averse to the idea of the political strategist joining the party. They believe that he should be made in-charge of the election management department without the candidate selection authority.
Congress leaders do agree that his inputs should be considered in the party, but suggested that state leaders as well as the former and incumbent Chief Ministers should have a say in the ticket distribution process.
Congress has been consulting the CWC members to revamp the party structure after losing two consecutive general elections.
Sources said the CWC members have been asked to give their feedback on the process. Sonia Gandhi's loyalists and two of the party's senior-most leaders -- Ambika Soni and A.K. Antony -- are involved in the process.
Congress General Secretary (Organisation), K.C. Venugopal, has also been roped in for the purpose.
Kishor has been meeting the Congress leaders informally in the poll-bound states as his induction into the party is still under consideration by Sonia Gandhi.
At the same time, he has also met a couple of leaders and gave his personal state-specific inputs to them.