Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday met Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi in the national capital.
Congress general secretary KC Venugopal was also present in the meeting.
Pawar’s meeting comes as several opposition leaders including Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin are making efforts to unify opposition for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Earlier on Wednesday, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav met Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and Delhi CM and Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal.
Nitish Kumar also met Left veterans Sitaram Yechury and D Raja.
After his meeting with Kumar, CPI-M general secretary Yechury said seat adjustments will be made at the state level and indicated that a third front was a possibility.
“Efforts for opposition unity have picked up the pace. An opposition coalition will be formed and seat adjustments will be done at the state level,” the CPI(M) general secretary said.
“In Kerala, the Congress and our party are arch rivals. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not in a fight there,” he said.
He further said that the third front that is going to be formed will always be after the elections.
“But in India, fronts are formed post polls such as United Front in 1996, in 1998 NDA was formed after elections, UPA formed post polls in 2004,” Yechury said.
Yechury later tweeted, “With Bihar CM Shri Nitish Kumar to carry forward the efforts to unite secular democratic parties to safeguard the Indian Republic, Constitution and democracy, severely assaulted by the BJP and Modi government. Defeat the BJP in order to save India and people’s livelihoods.” The Bihar CM also met CPI general secretary Raja.
“Had a meeting with JD(U) leader and Bihar CM Shri Nitish Kumar to discuss broad issues of opposition unity against RSS-BJP. The country is in turmoil and all sections of society are vocal against BJP misrule. Unity of secular-democratic forces is must to protect our democracy and people,” said Raja in a tweet after the meeting.
Even as the Bihar chief minister stepped up efforts to forge opposition unity and is set to meet some more parties including the BRS and Samajwadi Party, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav evaded a direct reply on whether his party would join an opposition alliance to take on the BJP but said people of the country want change of power.
Responding to reporters query in Indore on whether his party would join the opposition alliance, Yadav said, “This is a big question. What name are you giving to it (the grand alliance)? But I know one thing that people of Uttar Pradesh will unseat the BJP.” He added that citizens of the country want a change of power.
Last month, after his party’s national executive meeting, the SP chief had said his party would play a key role in the formation of an opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier on March 17, Yadav had met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata and had said that both Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) and SP would stay away from both the Congress and the BJP and indicated possible talks with other regional players ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
(With PTI inputs)
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