Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi may be making the headlines for their visit to families of farmers run over by a minister’s car in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, but one person clearly unimpressed is Prashant Kishor.
The poll strategist has put out a tweet pointing to “deep-rooted problems” in the Congress, giving credence to reports that his dalliance with the Grand Old Party is all but over. The Federal had reported as much recently, highlighting that Kishore’s way of working had left several Congress veterans skeptical about his formal induction into the party.
Now Kishor, on Friday, seemed to mince no words talking about the Congress. “People looking for a quick, spontaneous revival of GOP led opposition based on #LakhimpurKheri incident are setting themselves up for a big disappointment. Unfortunately there are no quick fix solutions to the deep-rooted problems and structural weakness of GOP,” he tweeted.
Rumours that Kishor was all set to join the Congress had begun to swirl in July, after he met the Gandhis for a long discussion. But it was soon reported that the talks did not make much headway since Kishor wanted a free hand in reworking the party’s structure.
Many in the Congress also believed that Kishor’s entry would further divide the party at a time when elections are close and its state units are already in disarray.
According to media reports, Kishor also refused to be held accountable for the upcoming elections in key states such as Uttar Pradesh because he said there wasn’t enough time for him to course correct the party.
Speculation about Kishor’s loyalties increased last week when senior Goa Congress leader Luizinho Faleiro announced that he was exiting the party to join Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress – with the intervention of Kishor.
People looking for a quick, spontaneous revival of GOP led opposition based on #LakhimpurKheri incident are setting themselves up for a big disappoinment.
Unfortunately there are no quick fix solutions to the deep-rooted problems and structural weakness of GOP.
— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) October 8, 2021
At a press conference, Faleiro said, “Of course, he had approached me. Just a few days back,”, when asked if Kishor had reached out to him. In May, Kishor had helped the Trinamool Congress win a difficult election against the BJP in Bengal.
Faleiro’s disclosure coincided with rumours that Kishor and his team at the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) were also wooing other Congress leaders, including former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, to the Trinamool Congress.
A Congress leader who is part of the so-called G-23, told The Federal that Rahul and Priyanka’s “fascination” for Kishor stems from “basic lack of understanding on how the Congress functions and what it needs to revive”.