New Delhi, June 22
Leaders of several opposition parties including TMC, SP, AAP, RLD and the Left parties assembled at NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence here on Tuesday to hold a meeting, amid the heightened speculation about the possibility of a third front against the ruling BJP.
Former finance minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Yashwant Sinha, Samajwadi Party’s (SP) Ghanshyam Tiwari, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Jayant Chaudhary, Sushil Gupta from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Binoy Viswam from the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Nilotpal Basu from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) arrived at Pawar’s residence to attend the meeting.
National Conference (NC) leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah, former Congress leader Sanjay Jha and former Janata Dal (United) leader Pavan Verma also came to participate in the meeting.
Other prominent personalities who arrived at Pawar’s residence to attend the meeting were Justice A P Shah, Javed Akhtar and KC Singh.
The meeting was still on.
Earlier in the day, a senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, on the condition of anonymity, said though Pawar is hosting the meeting, it has been organised by Sinha, who is the convenor of the Rashtra Manch.
Sinha formed the Rashtra Manch, a political action group, in 2018 that targeted the BJP-led government’s policies.
“Sinha had approached Pawar in this connection and the NCP chief agreed to host the meeting. All the leaders participating in the meeting have been invited by the Rashtra Manch, not the NCP,” he said.
“This meeting is highly overrated and speculative,” he added.
The meeting comes within hours of NCP’s national executive meeting, where the party discussed the current national issues, the party’s future policies, and its role in the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
The meeting was chaired by NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and attended by party leaders Supriya Sule, Praful Patel, and Sunil Tatkare among others.
The meeting, which was held at Pawar’s residence here, lasted for about two hours.
The future goals of the party were discussed in detail at the meeting, Pawar said in a series of tweets in Marathi and English.
“I had a detailed discussion with my committee members on our future policies, our role in the next Lok Sabha (polls) and current national issues,” he said.
Among various issues, the meeting also discussed the local body elections to be held in Mumbai next year, Patel said.
“The party’s work was evaluated at the meeting, which also discussed the state elections to be held next year,” the Rajya Sabha MP told reporters.