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Watch | Pavan Varma Reveals Why Prashant Kishor-Congress Talks Broke Down

Kishor's former JD(U) colleague revealed extensive details of the understanding and agreements reached between the three Gandhis and Kishor, explaining why the talks did not fructify.

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Prashant Kishor’s close friend Pavan Varma, of the Trinamool Congress, has suggested that the reason for the breakdown of talks between the Congress and the former is not due to the Gandhis, but due to the resistance from other Congress functionaries.

In a 45-minute interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire, Varma has revealed extensive details of the understanding and agreements reached between the three Gandhis and Kishor while explaining why the talks did not fructify.

Varma has explicitly and repeatedly said that the reason behind the failure of talks was not Rahul Gandhi, as is being reported in the media. He denied that Rahul distrusts Kishor and thinks of him as “BJP’s Trojan horse”. Instead, Varma seemed to suggest that the problem was the opposition from other Congress functionaries.

Throughout the interview, Varma is repeatedly, and at times forcefully, questioned about the response and position of the three Gandhis to Kishor’s belief that Congress needs radical change and an agreed timeline for when these changes, percolating both downwards and upwards, will happen. He firmly and repeatedly says that all three Gandhis were in agreement with Kishor’s views.

However, after a point in the interview one gets a clear impression that Rahul differed over the pace of implementation of those proposals. But Varma denies this.

Varma concurs with media reports on the suggestions believed to have been made by Kishor to the Congress leadership on reviving the party. The interview covers each of these suggestions at length, with Varma providing additional details compared to what has already been reported in the media.

According to Varma, Kishor is committed to Congress’s idea of India and believes its restoration is critical for the country’s future. Varma also says that Kishor is happy for Congress to pick its prime ministerial candidate, and has not even ruled out Rahul Gandhi’s name.

Varma then goes on to add that Kishor will be “happy” to try working out a deal with Congress a third time if Sonia Gandhi knocks on his door in the future.