On a day that saw the Congress and Prashant Kishor both announce he will not join the party, former Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday shared an image with the election strategist, calling him an ‘old friend’. Sidhu tweeted, “Had a wonderful meeting with my old friend PK…Old wine, Old gold and Old friends still the best !!!”
Also Read | Prashant Kishor has declined offer to join party, says Congress. He explains
The former cricketer-turned-politician’s post came joust hours after Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala announced that Kishor declined an offer to join the grand old party. “Following a presentation & discussions with Sh. Prashant Kishor, Congress President has constituted a Empowered Action Group 2024 & invited him to join the party as part of the group with defined responsibility. He declined. We appreciate his efforts & suggestion given to party,” Surjewala tweeted.
On his part, Kishor, a former leader and vice-president of the JD(U), described the offer as ‘generous’ but also explained the reason behind turning down the opportunity to be a member of the Sonia Gandhi-led political outfit. “In my humble opinion, more than me the party needs leadership and collective will to fix the deep rooted structural problems through transformational reforms,” he posted.
The failure of Congress-Kishor talks came as a major surprise as the two sides had, in recent days, held meetings on a near-daily basis. The frequency of their discussions led many to believe that the Kishor-Congress union is a done deal.
A likely reason behind the failure of talks is the deal signed between the 45-year-old’s Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC) and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)–which governs the state–for next year’s assembly elections. The Congress is one of the opposition parties vying to dislodge the TRS from power.
Also Read | Prashant Kishor, in talks with Congress, meets KCR on Telangana elections
Meanwhile, Sidhu, in March, was removed as the head of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) in the wake of the party losing February’s assembly polls in the border state, where the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) pushed it out of power. He was succeeded by the incumbent state unit chief, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring.