Congress Faces Key Strategist Departure Ahead of 2024 National Polls

By manish198832 Jan 12, 2024

Congress Faces Key Strategist Departure

Congress Faces Key-Introduction

Congress Faces Key-In a significant development for the Congress party, Sunil Kanugolu, the mastermind behind the party’s victories in Karnataka and Telangana, has opted out of the strategizing team for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections. His departure follows the earlier exit of Prashant Kishor, a renowned strategist, from the party’s fold two years ago. This raises concerns about the party’s election preparedness, particularly with the absence of two key strategists. Sunil Kanugolu, who played a crucial role in the success of the Congress in Karnataka and Telangana, will now redirect his focus towards the party’s campaigns in Haryana and Maharashtra. This reassignment is attributed to the existing groundwork and teams already in place in these states, which are slated to go to the polls this year.

Congress Faces Key

Congress Faces Key-Background

Congress Faces Key-Sunil Kanugolu, once an integral part of the Congress’ ‘Task Force 2024’, has been a pivotal figure in shaping the party’s electoral strategies. His noteworthy contributions led to significant victories in Karnataka and Telangana, where the Congress emerged triumphant against the ruling BJP and BRS, respectively. However, the news of his exclusion from the Lok Sabha election campaign has sparked curiosity and raised questions about the party’s electoral approach.

Reasons for Redeployment

Congress Faces Key-The decision to redeploy Sunil Kanugolu has been justified by the Congress as a strategic move aimed at capitalizing on the groundwork already laid in Haryana and Maharashtra. Both states are crucial battlegrounds for the upcoming elections, and the party is eager to build on its successes from the previous year. Despite the party acknowledging his absence as a “slight setback” for the Lok Sabha campaign, senior leaders, including those holding the rank of General Secretary, express confidence in the long-term benefits. The belief is that Sunil Kanugolu’s political acumen, often referred to as his ‘Midas touch,’ can be more effectively utilized in securing victories in key states against the BJP.

Congress Faces Key-Continued Involvement

Congress Faces Key-Even though Sunil Kanugolu will not be directly involved in the national election campaign, sources reveal that he will continue to play a crucial role in the Congress’ affairs. In Karnataka, he assumes the role of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s primary advisor with a cabinet rank, showcasing the trust placed in his strategic abilities. Additionally, his influence extends to Telangana, where he successfully orchestrated the removal of ex-Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and the BRS government that had been in power since 2014.

Congress Faces Key-Implications for Congress

Congress Faces Key-The departure of Sunil Kanugolu, the second high-profile strategist after Prashant Kishor, poses challenges for the Congress as it gears up for the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The absence of these key architects of past victories raises concerns about the party’s ability to navigate the complex political landscape and secure electoral triumphs against the formidable BJP.

Congress Faces Key-Potential Setback

Congress Faces Key-The absence of Sunil Kanugolu from the Lok Sabha campaign is undoubtedly a setback for the Congress, given his instrumental role in securing victories for the party in Karnataka and Telangana. The Congress, however, remains optimistic about leveraging his expertise to target key states and diminish the BJP’s stronghold. The party’s leadership acknowledges the setback but believes in the greater benefit of utilizing Sunil Kanugolu’s strategic skills in a more focused manner.

Congress Faces Key-Congress’ Long-Term Strategy

Despite the immediate challenges posed by the departure of key strategists, the Congress party is framing its response within the context of a broader, long-term strategy. The decision to deploy Sunil Kanugolu in states where he has established teams is seen as a move to consolidate the party’s position in regions where it has previously tasted success. By concentrating on Haryana and Maharashtra, the Congress aims to build on its victories in Karnataka and Telangana from the previous year.

Sunil Kanugolu’s ‘Midas Touch’

Sunil Kanugolu’s reputation for possessing a ‘Midas touch’ in electoral strategies has been a defining factor in the Congress’ decision-making. The party sees his capabilities as essential in challenging the BJP’s dominance in key states. While his absence from the national election campaign might be perceived as a setback, the Congress is optimistic about harnessing his skills to secure victories where they matter the most.

Continued Regional Influence

Sunil Kanugolu’s continued involvement with the Congress governments in Karnataka and Telangana reflects the party’s commitment to retaining his strategic guidance. His role as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s primary advisor with a cabinet rank in Karnataka underscores the significance the party places on his counsel. In Telangana, his success in displacing the longstanding BRS government further solidifies his influence and impact on regional politics.

The Prashant Kishor Precedent

Sunil Kanugolu’s departure follows in the footsteps of Prashant Kishor, another prominent strategist who parted ways with the Congress two years ago. This succession of exits raises questions about the party’s internal dynamics and its ability to retain top-tier strategists. While Prashant Kishor’s departure did not prevent the Congress from achieving victories in subsequent elections, the cumulative effect of losing two key strategists could pose a more significant challenge for the party in the upcoming national polls.

Challenges and Opportunities

The challenges presented by the departure of Sunil Kanugolu are balanced by the opportunities the Congress sees in leveraging his expertise. The party aims to transform this setback into a strategic advantage by focusing on states where his influence is already established. The upcoming elections in Haryana and Maharashtra provide a platform for the Congress to showcase its resilience and ability to adapt to changing circumstances.


As the Congress party navigates the complex terrain leading up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the departure of Sunil Kanugolu emerges as a significant development. The party faces the challenge of compensating for the absence of key strategists, including Prashant Kishor, and ensuring a cohesive and effective election campaign. While the immediate setback is acknowledged, the Congress remains hopeful about the long-term benefits of deploying Sunil Kanugolu’s strategic skills in targeted regions. The upcoming elections in Haryana and Maharashtra will serve as a litmus test for the party’s adaptability and resilience in the face of strategic challenges.

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