Kolkata: A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's comment that there was no UPA anymore, Poll strategist Prashant Kishor Thursday hit out at Congress over the issue of opposition leadership and said it is not the "divine right of an individual" when the party has lost most of the elections it contested in the last decade, he said.
The opposition leadership should be decided democratically, he said.
"The IDEA and SPACE that #Congress represents is vital for a strong opposition. But Congress' leadership is not the DIVINE RIGHT of an individual especially, when the party has lost more than 90% elections in the last 10 years. Let opposition leadership be decided Democratically." Kishor tweeted.
The tweet is seen as an apparent swipe at Rahul Gandhi. Kishor, who has earlier been a political advisor to various parties, also called for democratically electing the opposition leadership.
His remark sparked a sharp response from the Congress with party spokesperson Pawan Khera saying on Twitter, The individual being discussed here is pursuing his Divine Duty to struggle and save Indian democracy from the RSS.
"A professional without ideological commitment is free to advise parties/individuals on how to contest elections but he cannot set the agenda of our politics," he said.
"This bogey of Congress assuming a 'Divine Right To Rule' needs to be busted. Rahul Gandhi is carrying forward our rich legacy of a 'Divine Duty To Struggle'," the Congress leader said.
Khera also hit out at Banerjee saying that a regional leader who is not a part of the UPA claiming UPA does not exist is a bizarre claim. "Just because I'm not a citizen of the USA doesn't mean the USA doesn't exist," he said.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal, a prominent member of the 'group of 23' that wrote to Sonia Gandhi seeking large scale organisational overhaul in the party also called for opposition unity and said the UPA without the Congress will be a body without a soul.
His party colleague Anand Sharma, another 'G-23' member, said the Congress was the main national opposition party and remains a central pillar for a collective national effort.
Kishor and his I-PAC team have been working for the Trinamool Congress since the assembly poll in West Bengal and are working on devising strategies in expanding the party nationally.
A few months ago, Kishor had held talks with the Congress leadership over his possible induction into the party. He had also met former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and there was serious talk over his entry into the grand old party but it did not materialise.
Kishor had taken potshots at the Congress two months ago as well, saying those looking for a quick revival of the opposition led by the grand old party following the Lakhimpur Kheri incident are in for a big disappointment as there are no quick-fix solutions to its "deep-rooted problems".