After resigning from the Trinamool Congress, its former Goa unit chief Kiran Kandolkar on Wednesday accused political strategist Prashant Kishor of trying to blackmail the Congress by dividing the opposition vote in the February 14 Assembly polls in the coastal state.
Kandolkar told a press conference here that Kishor’s objective was to ensure a BJP victory in Goa in order to ramp up leverage for his subsequent negotiations with the Congress.
“Prashant Kishor came to Goa only to blackmail the Congress. He wanted to blackmail Congress President Sonia Gandhi because we have seen now how he gave an example out of Goa that if you do not take me onboard, I will shake your vote-share. He achieved this in Goa because the opposition was divided. The BJP has come to power with 33 per cent vote share,” Kandolkar told reporters, shortly after resigning from the party.
“Prashant Kishor came to Goa to ensure a BJP victory and not to defeat it. Because we partnered with them, we are also responsible for what happened in Goa,” he added.
Despite a high-profile campaign in Goa, the Trinamool failed to win a single seat in the state.
Kandolkar, however, placed the blame for the loss solely on Kishor’s outfit I-PAC, and not the Trinamool Congress.
“I-PAC fooled Goa with a big bang which it created. I-PAC and Prashant Kishor, they may conjure any strategy in the rest of the country, but in Goa, he has become a total zero as far as political strategising is concerned. We were also swayed by it. I met Prashant Kishor before meeting Mamata Banerjee. When PK gave political assurances about Goa, I was also swayed,” Kandolkar said.
“Abhishek Banerjee and the Trinamool leadership are not at fault. They had handed over the responsibility of Goa to I-PAC. The boss of the company is Prashant Kishor. If someone has failed it is not the Trinamool, not us as candidates, it is I-PAC,” Kandolkar said.
The Trinamool in Goa has witnessed a flurry of resignations after the drubbing it received in the 2022 Assembly polls.