The meeting convened by NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday was attended by representatives from eight political parties including the Trinamool Congress (TMC), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Left Front.
There were speculations doing the round that the meeting was organised for assessing the possibility of a third front for the Uttar Pradesh election and subsequently for the 2024 general elections. However, Pawar had refuted the reports and the meeting has been described as a gathering to debate current events.
Among those who attended the meeting were National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, Majid Memon and Vandana Chauhan from Nationalist Congress Party, RLD’s Jayant Choudhary, Samawadi Party’s Ghanshyam Tiwari and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Sushil Gupta. This apart, retired Justice AP Shah, former ambassador KC Singh and lyricist Javed Akhtar were also present at the meeting.
Senior lawyer KTS Tulsi, former chief election commissioner SY Qureshi and senior lawyer Colin Gonsalves skipped the meet.
Congress not invited
Over media reports that Congress was not invited, the party’s Maharashtra leader Nana Patole added to his litany of provocative statements over the past few days. “In a democracy, everyone has a right to do whatever they want to. We won’t stop anyone. But there can be no front without the Congress,” he had said, adding that this was not the first time that Pawar was trying to organise a third front.
Rashtra Manch organised the meeting
Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha’s outfit Rashtra Manch organised the meeting. The invitations were also sent by the outfit. Sinha has been a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he quit the BJP in 2018. He has joined Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress this year.
To read the latest news in Gujarati click here