Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar will host a meeting of Opposition parties at his residence in Delhi on Tuesday, party leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik said.
Malik said that Pawar will hold the meeting with political leaders and “eminent persons” at his Delhi residence at 11.30 am to discuss the situation in the country.
Those invited include Aam Aadmi Party’s Sanjay Singh, Communist Party of India General Secretary D Raja, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, Justice AP Singh, lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar, journalist Karan Thapar and advocate Colin Gonsalves.
Pawar and former Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha, who has now joined the Trinamool Congress, sent out invitations to the parties for the meeting, reported NDTV.
“Sharad Pawar ji and Shri Yashwant Sinha ji are co-chairing a discussion on the present national scenario,” reads the invite sent out by Rashtra Manch, headed by Sinha. “Yashwant Sinha has requested your kind presence and participation in the meeting.”
The Rashtra Manch is a coalition of Opposition parties that was formed in 2018 to counter the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, according to News18. This is the first time Pawar will participate in the meeting of the outfit.
“In a democracy everyone has a right to do whatever they want to...We won’t stop anyone,” Maharashtra Congress leader Nana Patole told NDTV when asked about Congress not being invited. “But there can be no front without the Congress.”
Earlier in the day, Pawar held discussions with election strategist Prashant Kishor in Delhi for the second time in two weeks. They had last met on June 11 at Pawar’s Mumbai home for three hours amid speculations about a plan for “Mission 2024” to fight the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
The meeting comes at a time when Opposition parties are exploring ways to come up with a third front ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Besides, the leaders are likely to discuss the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections scheduled next year.
“Some sections of the BJP are silently supporting Pawar, who has understood that there is a huge decline in the popularity of PM Modi and that there is a need to take on the BJP,” unidentified officials told NDTV.