Poll strategist Prashant Kishor has said that he will not be part of the informal meeting to be hosted by NCP chief Sharad Pawar. The meeting of Rashtra Manch, a political forum established by Yashwant Sinha, is scheduled to be held at Pawar’s 6 Janpath residence in New Delhi on 22 June.
“I rule out (my) association with any such third front gathering,” Prashant Kishor said. The political strategist went on to say that he does not believe that a third or fourth front can challenge the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Interestingly, Prashant Kishor had met Sharad Pawar at the latter’s official residence in New Delhi on 21 June. The meeting lasted for nearly three hours and was the second such interaction between the poll strategist and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief over a period of 10 days.
Prashant Kishor had earlier met Pawar at his Silver Oaks residence in Mumbai on 11 June. When asked, the political strategist had told reporters that the meeting was a mere ‘courtesy lunch’ and not a discussion on political strategy.
Trinamool Congress leader Yashwant Sinha, Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh, former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah and former JD(U) MP Pavan Verma are attending the opposition parties’ meeting.
Others who are expected to attend include lyricist Javed Akhtar, journalist Karan Thapar and economist Arun Kumar.
In addition to the Rashtra Manch meet, NCP chief Sharad Pawar is also slated to host the NCP’s national executive meeting at his official residence in New Delhi on 22 June.
The meet comes ahead of the Assembly elections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur slated for early next year.
Prashant Kishor, who had earlier said that he wanted to quit, has criticised the INC approach, saying the party “must realise that it has a problem and then do something about it”.