Not only opposition politicians, but also “eminent people from various fields” have been invited to the meeting.
Hours before opposition leaders and intellectuals are to meet on the invitation of NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, it was clarified that the veteran politician was “not hosting a third front meeting”. The talks now appear to be a gathering of politicians and intellectuals to “debate current events”.
Yashwant Sinha, the former union minister who recently joined Mamata Banerjee’s TMC after a long stint with the BJP, tweeted last evening that Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar was hosting a meeting of his “Rashtra Manch”, a political action group he set up in 2018.
“We shall have a meeting of the Rashtra Manch tomorrow at 4 PM. Sri Sharad Pawar has kindly agreed to host the meeting at his place,” Mr Sinha said.
People associated with the event stressed that the gathering has nothing to do with putting together a Third Front to fight Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP in the 2024 election.
Not only opposition politicians, but also “eminent people from various fields” have been invited to the meeting, which takes out any chance of the talks being political in nature. .
People invited to the meeting include senior advocate KTS Tulsi, former chief election commissioner SY Qureshi, former ambassador KC Singh, lyricist Javed Akhtar, filmmaker Pritish Nandy, senior lawyer Colin Gonsalves, media personalities Karan Thapar and Ashutosh, said NCP leader Nawab Mallik.
Prashant Kishor, who met Sharad Pawar yesterday, setting of speculations about a third front being prepared to fight PM Modi, distanced himself from the meeting and ruled out any association with an opposition front.
“I don’t believe a Third or Fourth Front could emerge as a successfully challenge to the current dispensation,” he told NDTV, adding that the ‘tried and tested’ Third Front model was archaic and not suited to the current political dynamic.