Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday named NCP chief Sharad Pawar and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as potential leaders for the 2024 general elections, hinting at the possibility about the formation of a third front. He, however, said that bringing all the opposition parties together in order to form a consensus on a face to take on the BJP will be a "huge task" given that every regional party considers itself a king and tries to "dictate terms".
When asked who could emerge as a probable face to take on the BJP, Raut said, “Sharad Pawar has been a national leader for a long time.
Some people think of Mamata Bannerjee after her spectacular performance in recent West Bengal polls. In such scenario, if (poll strategist) Prashant Kishor can do some magic, I will be happy”.
Kishor had separately met Banerjee and Pawar in the recent past. Kishor called on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at the latter's residence in Delhi on Tuesday. Raut said he shared good relations with Kishor and his meeting with Congress leadership is entirely his own business.
“It is a huge task to bring all the Opposition parties together and form a consensus on a face to take on the BJP in the 2024 general elections.
Every opposition party equates itself with a king and tries to dictate terms," he told a regional news channel in Delhi.
Further, Raut said that the front would need a face to counter the Union government like Jayprakash Narayan against then PM Indira Gandhi in post-emergency polls, V P Singh against Rajiv Gandhi. "Later, (then prime minister) Manmohan Singh and (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi duo were challenged by Narendra Modi in the 2014 general elections,” he added.