Panaji, October 28
Poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who is currently lobbying for the Trinamool Congress (TMC) for the upcoming Goa Assembly elections, has said the BJP will remain at the centre of Indian politics and will not go anywhere for the “next many decades” irrespective of whether it wins or loses.
He also took a swipe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for “thinking” that people will throw the BJP away immediately.
A video clip of Kishor saying this during a private meeting in Goa has gone viral.
A senior leader of the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), a group led by Kishor, confirmed that the video was from a private meeting held on Wednesday in the state.
Reacting to the statement, the Congress in Goa accused the TMC of entering the poll fray in the state in order to “divide secular votes and give mileage to the ruling BJP”, and also alleged that Kishor’s remarks exposed Mamata Banerjee-led party’s agenda.
In the video, Kishor 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.”
“Once you secure 30 per cent plus votes at the India-level, you are not going away in a hurry. So, do not ever get into this trap that people are getting angry and they will throw away (PM Narendra) Modi,” he added.
“Maybe, they will throw away Modi, but BJP is not going anywhere. They are going to be here, you have to fight it out for the next many decades. It’s not going in a hurry,” Kishor said.
Referring to Rahul Gandhi, he said, “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.”
Kishor had helped craft the election strategies for the TMC and the DMK in the Assembly polls in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, respectively, held earlier this year. These parties had emerged victorious in those states.
The TMC has announced that it would be contesting the Assembly elections in Goa due in February next year. TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee is beginning her three-day visit to Goa from Thursday.
Slamming the TMC after Kishor’s remarks, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee chief Girish Chodankar said, “Since last one month TMC landed in Goa. I have always said that @AmitShah and #ED were behind sending TMC to Goa. Now, their strategist whose services are hired has confirmed my apprehensions when he said BJP is here to stay. #TMC is here to divide the votes. TMC Agenda stands exposed.”
Later, he also issued a statement in which he said that time and again, he has been saying that Amit Shah and the ED were behind the ‘Operation Goa’ of the TMC to divide secular votes and give mileage to the BJP.
“Prashant Kishor is neither a politician nor does he have any ideology. Whoever hires him, he works for them,” the Congress leader said, adding that his attack on Rahul Gandhi proves the point.
Another local Congress leader, Rakhi Prabhudesai Naik, said in a tweet, “If #TMC strategist thinks that BJP is not going anywhere then the party should pack it’s bags from #Goa. Rather than dividing the votes, they should go back to #WB. Or else, it will confirm that their presence here is a BJP game-plan.” —PTI
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