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Published On: Tue, Jun 22nd, 2021

Non-BJP actors discuss party’s future policies, role in 2024 Lok Sabha Election

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Oppn meetNEW DELHI : Political strategist Prashant Kishor and National Congress Party (NCP) Sharad Pawar reportedly held closed-door talks on Monday in the national capital, further fuelling speculation of a third front to take on the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
While talking to Newstrack24x7.com , Prashant Kishor called it a “routine meeting” and remained coy on details of the meet. Interestingly, this was the second such meeting between Pawar and Kishor in as many weeks. The first meeting took place on June 12 at Pawar’s Silver Oak residence in Mumbai and had reportedly lasted for more than three hours.According to reports, the meeting was also attended by Maharashtra NCP president Jayant Patil and party MLA Rohit Pawar, who is also Sharad Pawar’s nephew. Importantly, Praful Paten and Ajit Pawar were not part of the meeting.

After meeting the political strategist, Pawar called a meeting with several Opposition leaders tomorrow at 4 pm. The invitation to the meeting has been extended to 15 political parties. “An important meeting of the leaders of other political parties will be held under the chairmanship of Sharad Pawar in New Delhi tomorrow. The meeting will be attended by leaders of NCP, Aam Aadmi Party, Trinamool Congress and RJD,” said NCP leader Nawab Malik. “The upcoming Lok Sabha session will be discussed in this meeting . The political situation in the country will also be discussed. Sharad Pawar will work to unite all the opposition parties in the country from tomorrow,” he added.

Meeting took place at at veteran politician Sharad Pawar’s house, which drew outsized attention over reports of Third Front maneuvers ahead of the 2024 polls, featured eight parties including Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Left. The Congress was missing. Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha said he had asked Sharad Pawar to host the gathering of his outfit Rashtra Manch to “debate current events”. “The meeting was called by Yashwant Sinha, not Sharad Pawar, this was not a political meet,” stressed Majeed Memon, a leader of Mr Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). For the NCP, leaving out the Congress, its ally in Maharashtra, would be awkward.

“There are talks that the meeting was for a third front without the Congress, which is not the truth. There is no discrimination. We called all like-minded people. We also invited Congress leaders. I called Vivek Tanha, Manish Tiwari, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Shatrughan Sinha for the meeting. They couldn’t come. It’s not true that we didn’t invite Congress,” Mr Memon asserted, when reporters asked why the Congress was MIA at a gathering of opposition parties.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, RLD’s Jayant Choudhary, the Samajwadi Party’s Ghanshyam Tiwari; AAP leader Sushil Gupta; CPI’s Binoy Viswam and CPM’s Nilotpal Basu were among those who attended the meet. “It was not a political meeting but an interaction among like-minded people. Issues like Covid management, ‘attack’ on institutions and unemployment were discussed,” Nilotpal Basu told reporters.

fseveral political leaders and eminent persons from different sections of society including Farooq Abdullah, Yashwant Sinha, Pawan Verma, Sanjay Singh, D Raja, Justice AP Singh, Javed Akhtar, KTS Tulsi and Karan Thapar will attend tomorrow’s meeting. Ashutosh, Advocate Majeed Memon, MP Vandana Chavan, former chief election commissioner SY Quraishi, KC Singh, Sanjay Jha, Sudheendra Kulkarni, Colin Gonsalves, economist Arun Kumar, Ghanshyam Tiwari and Pritish Nandi will be among the attendees. The speculation is rife that talks of a third front are gaining momentum as regional parties have expressed willingness to join hands to take on the Narendra Modi-led BJP in the next general elections.

 

However, those associated with the event clarified that the gathering had nothing to do with putting together a Third Front. “Yashwant Sinha heads the Rashtra Manch. He asked to meet with Mr Pawar. So the meeting is an initiative of the Rashtra Manch,” said NCP leader Praful Patel. Sources close to Sharad Pawar said neither he nor his party had put out any invitations. “This is a highly overrated and speculative meeting,” they said.

The speculation intensified when the meeting was linked to Mr Pawar’s meeting with ace poll strategist Prashant Kishor earlier yesterday. This was their second meeting in two weeks. But hours later, Prashant Kishor distanced himself from today’s meeting and ruled out any association with an opposition front to take on the BJP in the next general election.
(With Media inputs).

 

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