A meeting of opposition leaders from eight anti-BJP parties was held at Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar's house in Delhi earlier this week triggering talks of a Third Front. Notably, no Congress leader was present in the meeting adding fuel to talks about a Third Front sans the grand old party.
Now, Sharad Pawar has cleared the air regarding Congress' inclusion in the Third Front, if raised. The 80-year-old leader said that Congress would certainly be part of any such alternative force. He added that the 'Rastra Manch' meeting in Delhi on June 22 was not held to discuss formation of any joint opposition front.
"Alliance was not discussed in the meeting (Rashtra Manch meeting) but if an alternative force is to be raised, it will be done only by taking Congress together. We need power like that and I had said this in that meeting," news agency ANI quoted Sharad Pawar, as saying.
While Sharad Pawar has been denying working on any Third Front to challenge the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2024, his series of meeting with political strategist Prashant Kishor has kept the rumour mill running.
Kishor met Pawar in New Delhi on Wednesday, a day after leaders of eight opposition parties gathered at Pawar's residence.
According to sources, the closed-door discussions between Kishor and Pawar, held at the latter's residence in Delhi, lasted for about an hour. This was their third meeting within a fortnight.
Kishor, who was instrumental in the thumping victory of the Trinamool Congress in the West Bengal Assembly polls, had met Pawar over lunch at his residence in Mumbai on June 11. He again called on the NCP chief at his residence in Delhi on Monday.