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Why Congress-Prashant Kishor Talks Fail Again: The Inside Scoop -By ASC


Prashant Kishor’s negotiations with Congress failed last year as well.

New Delhi:

That’s not Telangana. That is not ideology. Political strategist Prashant Kishor’s latest round of talks with Congress to change the fate of the 137 -year -old party failed due to the most obvious stalemate, sources told NDTV.

While the 45-year-old wanted a free hand to bring about big changes and play the role of disruptive, the Congressional leadership eventually found itself wary of a complete overhaul, instead preferring additional changes, sources in Congress said.

However, unlike last year when similar talks hit, this time, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi kept senior party leaders in a circle, acted on their advice and had decided to hold them accountable for defeats and victories in the next election, they added.

They vehemently rejected the suggestion that the deal failed because of Prashant Kishor’s association with other parties like Telangana Rashtra Samithi led by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao or “KCR” who signed his political consultative group I-PAC just two days ago for next year’s elections.

Similarly his past helping everyone from the BJP to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee win elections is not an important thing, a leader said.

“The difference is how to implement the uprising. PK wants to be a troublemaker. The party wants additional change,” he said.

Congress was reluctant to hand over the reins of government to outsiders from the outset and Prashant Kishor was hesitant about having his hands tied as he had seen the result in Uttar Pradesh’s disastrous 2017 election campaign, sources said.

After several rounds of discussions, presentations, discussions between the two sides and signals at any time sent to the media, the announcement on Tuesday about them following their respective directions was mutual and there was no dispute, the source said.

“There was a meeting between Prashant Kishor and the leadership before the announcement and a tweet where it was mutually agreed that an agreement could not be reached,” said one leader, asking not to be named.

It was then that Congress spokesmen Randeep Surjewala and Prashant Kishor made the official announcement on Twitter, carefully avoiding any harsh words.

On the surface, Congress offered Prashant Kishor what it had to offer – just another seat at the discussion table now dubbed the “Empowered Action Group”. The offer was immediate but politely declined by Mr. Kishor.

The development echoes last year’s failed round of negotiations between the two sides, when, according to Mr Kishor himself, they failed to “take a leap of trust”.

“For others, it seems appropriate that Prashant Kishor and Congress should come and work together. But both sides need to take a leap of faith to work together. That is not the case with Congress,” he told NDTV in January, confirming what Congressman Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also said.

“On my part, I had a bad experience working with them on UP (election 2017). So I’m very skeptical. I don’t want to be tied to my hands … the Congressional leadership, because of my background, they’re not wrong in doubting whether I will be 100 per cent loyal to them, ”Mr Kishor said, adding that he was convinced Congress needed a“ reshuffle ”to defeat the BJP.

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