Prashant Kishor meets Sharad Pawar for second time; NCP chief calls for Opposition party meet tomorrow
Sharad Pawar and Prashant Kishor's second meeting lasted half an hour, sources say, unlike the previous one that went on for three hours.
Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and poll strategist Prashant Kishor on Monday met in Delhi for the second time in nearly two weeks amid buzz about a national coalition against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The two met in Delhi days after their last meeting on June 11 at Sharad Pawar's Mumbai home. Their second meeting lasted half an hour, sources say, unlike the previous one that went on for three hours.
Their discussions are seen to have a larger context related to the 2024 election and talk of a third front - minus the BJP or Congress - and a joint opposition candidate to challenge PM Modi. Many parties have indicated their willingness to join such a grouping, say sources.
While a NCP leader aware of the matter said the possibility of an alternative to the BJP was among the topics discussed in the meeting, Prashant Kishor said it was a private one. “It was just a private courtesy meeting over lunch and nothing to do with politics,” Kishor, who has said he won’t be continuing with his job as a poll strategist, said.
Kishor's client Mamata Banerjee, who won a third straight term in West Bengal after fighting off a difficult challenge from the BJP, was asked whether she saw herself as the opposition prime ministerial candidate. "I think all together, we can fight the battle for 2024. But let's fight Covid first," she had said soon after the verdict.
Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) has renewed its contract with the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), the company launched by election strategist Prashant Kishor, till the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha polls. After the resounding victory over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recent West Bengal assembly elections, Mamata Banerjee wishes to see her party playing a bigger role in national politics.
As per reports, after meeting the political strategist, Pawar has called for an Opposition meeting tomorrow at 4 pm. The invitation to the meeting has been extended to 15 political parties.
The meeting of Rashtra Manch, a political action group launched by TMC leader Yashwant Sinha, will be held at Sharad Pawar's residence. NCP's Majeed Menon, Samajwadi Party's Ghanshyam Tiwari and other leaders to participate in the meeting, said sources.
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