- Prashant Kishor met Rahul Gandhi, his sister amid Punjab Congress crisis
- Mr Kishor's meeting was part of a "bigger strategy": Sources
- In 2017, Mr Kishor was instrumental in bringing Navjot Sidhu to Congress
Here are the top 10 points in this big story:
Initially, it was believed that Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka were present at the meeting with Prashant Kishor, held at the Congress MP's home in Delhi on Tuesday evening. Sources now say their mother, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, joined the discussions via a virtual link.
According to sources, the meeting was not about the Punjab or Uttar Pradesh polls as speculated, but about "something bigger" - an indication that Prashant Kishor might be looking at a significant role in getting the Congress battle-ready for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Reports had earlier linked the Kishor-Gandhis' meet to the Congress turmoil in Punjab, where the party is struggling to broker peace between its top two leaders - Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his rival Navjot Singh Sidhu - ahead of next year's state polls.
The sources said this is not the first time that the ace strategist has met with the Congress's first family; the discussions raise the possibility of Mr Kishor - a transformative figure in several elections and for many regional leaders - linking up with the Congress once again after his bitter experience in the UP polls of 2017.
The presence of all three Gandhis is significant. According to sources, it suggests that all three are in it together and any decision on a strategy will be unanimous.
Mr Kishor had last collaborated with the Congress during its failed campaign for the Uttar Pradesh election in 2017. The Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance flopped and the BJP came to power.
Stung by that aberration in his impressive track record, Mr Kishor had publicly voiced his dissatisfaction with the Congress's style of functioning and its apparent stasis, something that has dogged the party in most elections since then.
Mr Kishor's two meetings with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in quick succession fueled talk of a combined opposition strategy to take on the BJP in 2024. A meeting at Sharad Pawar's home of a front led by former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha added to the buzz. The Congress was not present in the much-bandied Rashtra Manch meet.
Both Mr Kishor and Sharad Pawar said at the time that there can be no alliance against the BJP without the Congress, the only opposition party with a pan-Indian presence.
But the strategist has, so far, ruled out his involvement in any opposition front to take on the BJP in the next general election. "I don't believe a Third or Fourth Front could emerge as a successful challenge to the current dispensation," he told NDTV. Mr Kishor believes that the 'tried and tested' Third Front model is archaic, and not suited to the current political dynamic.