Kishor flags 'problem' with Rahul as Cong faces heat

Prashant Kishor flags 'problem' with Rahul Gandhi as regional parties gun for Congress

This is proof that the talks of Kishor's entry into the Congress have ended

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor. Credit: PTI File Photo

Political analyst Prashant Kishor, who was exploring an option to work with the Congress till some months ago, moved a full cycle with his remarks highlighting the "problem" of Rahul Gandhi in thinking it was just a matter of time that people would throw the Modi government away and stressed that the BJP was going to remain in the centre of Indian polity for the “next many decades”.

At a time when Congress faces attacks from regional parties including Trinamool Congress in the run-up to state elections, Kishor who is currently working for Mamata Banerjee’s party in Goa, brought back in spotlight the question of who is the prime challenger to BJP back in focus in the run-up to elections in six states next year and bye-elections on October 30.

A video clip of Kishor from a private meeting held on Goa went viral in which the poll strategist is heard saying, "BJP is going to be the centre of Indian polity...whether they win, whether they lose, like it was for the first 40 years for Congress, BJP is going nowhere…..That is where the problem lies with Rahul Gandhi. Probably, he thinks it's just a matter of time that people will throw him (Modi) away. That's not happening,” said Kishor who is strategising for TMC in Goa, which has lined up big programmes of Banerjee in the state in the run-up to polls next year.

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Rejoicing at Kishor’s remarks, the BJP rubbed in saying entire country agrees with poll strategist Prashant Kishor's comments that the ruling party will remain at the centre of politics for many decades

Former Union Minister and BJP spokesperson Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore at a media briefing at the party headquarters said Kishore has not said anything that the country does not know but “Rahul Gandhi never heard the country's voice earlier and will not do so now.”

The remarks of Kishor come in the midst of a fierce war of words between TMC and Congress as Banerjee’s party has recently made its intention of occupying the prime Opposition space clear by repeatedly raising questions on Rahul Gandhi’s capacities and projecting Mamata Banerjee as a better leader.

Ahead of Banerjee’s three-day tour to poll-bound Goa beginning Friday, the party’s mouthpiece 'Jago Bangla' said, "We want an alliance to be formed against the BJP. We have said this to the Congress, too. But it is least bothered and shows a lackadaisical approach.”

“The problem is both-way for the Congress. It cannot leave its political space to regional parties for the grandiose idea of defeating BJP as every party has to find its own ground. So we will see more of such sparring in coming days in states like UP, Punjab, Gujarat, Goa and elsewhere where new claimants for the Opposition space are rising,” says political analyst Rasheed Kidwai.

Earlier, TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee had called Mamata the "only vaccine" to "eradicate" BJP “virus” in the next Lok Sabha polls.

Banerjee’s party, which had suggested setting up a joint steering committee of Opposition leaders to plan a joint strategy against BJP, is not the only party taking potshots at Congress. Congress has not taken kindly to Banerjee's foray in Goa and Tripura. It also sounded dismissive of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party’s attempts to go beyond Delhi with its senior leader P Chidambaram calling both AAP and TMC "marginal players” in Goa.

In Bihar, RJD chief Lalu Prasad after refusing to accept Congress's demand for contesting one of two assembly bypoll seats, said Congress would have lost deposit had they been given the seats and dubbed Congress general secretary in-charge for the state Bhakt Charan Das as a “foolish” person, which led to poster war between the two old allies in the state.

The sparring between regional parties and Congress comes months after multiple shows of unity during Opposition meetings were displayed and is likely to continue as they compete for the same political space in states ruled by the BJP and NDA.

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