Kolkata: With a significant arrangement between the Congress and political strategist Prashant Kishor alias PK almost certain now, speculations are rife over the imminent end of the existing arrangement between the Trinamool Congress and PK-founded organisation Indian Political Action Committee (I-Pac).
According to political leaders and observers whom IANS interacted with, if PK or I-Pac officially gets the chance of drawing the roadmap for Congress for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, that assignment will surely be for pan-India and West Bengal will not be an exception. In that case, there will be an automatic termination of the existing arrangements between the TMC and I-Pac.
When contacted, TMC leader and three-time Lok Sabha member Sugata Roy made a significant statement that clearly hinted towards the imminent termination of the existing arrangements between TMC and I-Pac.
“If the ongoing discussions between the Congress and Prashant Kishor take a formal shape, TMC will surely have to rethink its relationship with I-PAC. However, political situation changes in moments and till the time the ongoing dialogues between Prashant Kishor and the Congress leadership takes a final shape, we will have to wait and watch,” Roy said.
Congress member from West Bengal Subhankar Sarkar said that there is only one remote possibility that PK-TMC arrangements can continue even after the poll strategist officially gets the assignment to draw the roadmap for Congress for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
“The remote possibility is that Congress and TMC enter into a seat-sharing agreement in West Bengal in 2024, as the two parties did in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and 2011 West Bengal Assembly elections. But that possibility looks remote as of now considering that the TMC has continued to weaken the Congress by roping in its leaders. But again, nothing is final unless it is final in politics,” Sarkar said.
BJP’s West Bengal spokesman Shamik Bhattacharya refused to make any comment on the issue, describing it as the internal matter of Congress and TMC.
“However, the desperation to get PK as a savior speaks a lot about the leadership qualities of both the parties,” he said.
Former head of the department of International Relations at the Jadavpur University, Om Prakash Mishra, also ruled out the possibility of a TMC-Congress seat-sharing arrangement in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
“First, look at the TMC angle. In the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections, both the Congress and its ally Left Front got totally wiped out even in the erstwhile Congress strongholds of Murshidabad and Malda districts.
“Not a single Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal is a safe seat for Congress now and in such a situation it is unlikely that the TMC would like to spare a single seat to the Congress.
From the Congress’s point of view, in case of any arrangement, the Trinamool would demand some seats in other states from the Congress. So, in all probability, the relations between I-Pac and the TMC is heading for an inevitable end as, in my opinion, the PK-Congress innings getting official is just a matter of time,” Mishra said.
Political analyst and former registrar of Calcutta University, Rajagopal Dhar Chakraborty, said that officially Prashant Kishor does not hold any post in I-Pac, though this organisation was founded by him.
“So, an option can be that Kishor, on his behalf, operates for the Congress nationally and I-Pac works independently for the TMC in West Bengal. But the question of greater credibility will automatically arise then. So, the situation right now is extremely critical,” he said.