New Delhi: Congress’ strategist Sunil Kanugolu, who was credited with the party’s wins in Karnataka and Telangana, will not be a part of its 2024 Lok Sabha election campaign, sources said on Friday.
After Prashant Kishor, Kanugolu is the second high-profile poll strategist who will no longer be associated with the party’s general election campaign.
Kanugolu was a part of the Congress’ Task Force 2024. Under new arrangements he will now focus only on Haryana and Maharashtra campaigns for the party.
Congress sources said this has been done as he already has teams in place in the two states — both of which will vote this year.
Some senior Congress leaders said that Kanugolu will continue to work with the Congress. He will work with the Karnataka government where he is an advisor to the CM with a cabinet rank. He will also work in Telangana, according to the Congress sources.
The importance of Kanugolu to the Congress’ election machinery is perhaps best illustrated by the party’s dismal performances in the 2023 Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan Assembly elections. He held initial talks with leaders in those states, but neither Kamal Nath nor Ashok Gehlot agreed to his demands. The Congress lost badly in both states. Sources said the wins in Karnataka and Telangana were the result of Kanugolu being given a free hand in each state.
A senior leader said that the Lok Sabha election is far too complicated, and especially now when the opposition’s bloc INDIA is there.