Sunil Kanugolu, Congress, 2024 lok sabha electionKanugolu's Key Moves
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Sunil Kanugolu, the strategic mind behind Congress’ victories in Karnataka and Telangana, has decided not to participate in the party’s campaign for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Formerly associated with the Congress’ ‘Task Force 2024,’ Kanugolu will now concentrate on orchestrating election strategies for the party in Haryana and Maharashtra, according to reliable sources.

The decision to redeploy Kanugolu has been attributed to the fact that he already has established teams in place in both Haryana and Maharashtra, both of which are set to vote this year. Additionally, the Congress aims to capitalize on the successes recorded in Karnataka and Telangana last year, where they secured significant wins over the ruling BJP and TRS, respectively.

While the news of Kanugolu not being actively involved in the Lok Sabha election campaign has raised eyebrows, party leaders believe there is a greater long-term benefit in utilizing his strategic acumen to secure victories in key states currently held by the BJP. Despite his absence in the national campaign, Kanugolu will continue to work closely with Congress governments in Karnataka and Telangana.

Sunil Kanugolu’s role in the Congress’ election machinery has been crucial, as evidenced by the party’s dismal performances in the 2023 elections in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where he was not actively involved. His absence in the initial talks with leaders in those states reportedly contributed to the party’s losses. In contrast, Kanugolu’s autonomy in Karnataka and Telangana played a pivotal role in securing victories for the Congress.

The Congress’ electoral strategy for the Lok Sabha elections involves navigating a complex landscape with multiple allies, seat-sharing demands, and collaboration within the INDIA opposition bloc. Kanugolu, renowned for his strategic insights and comprehensive understanding of the political landscape, could have been a valuable asset in this context. His experience working with INDIA allies, including the DMK in the 2019 general election and the BJP in 2014, adds to his strategic prowess.

Sunil Kanugolu’s decision to step back from the national poll plans follows a similar move by poll strategist Prashant Kishor in 2022, who confirmed that he would not work with the Congress. While these developments might pose short-term challenges for the party, the Congress appears to be thinking strategically for the long term, aiming to leverage Kanugolu’s expertise to strengthen its position in key states and build a robust electoral base.

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By Alwin Santhosh


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