Eight political parties, including Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, took part in a meeting held at Sharad Pawar’s house on Tuesday, reported NDTV. The Congress, however, was missing.

Majeed Memon, a leader of Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, said the meeting was not a political one. “There are talks that the meeting was for a third front without the Congress, which is not the truth,” said Memon. “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.”

Others who attended the meeting were National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, the Samajwadi Party’s Ghanshyam Tiwari and Left leaders Binoy Viswam and Nilotpal Basu. Apart from politicians, retired Justice AP Shah, former ambassador KC Singh and lyricist Javed Akhtar also participated.

The meeting came at a time when Opposition parties are exploring ways to come up with a third front ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Speculations were rife that the meeting would be about the upcoming elections after Pawar held discussions with election strategist Prashant Kishor twice in two weeks.