New Delhi: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar has called for creating a Third Front without the Congress party to provide a viable alternative progressive forum to the voters of the country.
Addressing a press conference after the induction of Congress rebel PC Chacko into the NCP, the veteran Maharashtra politician on Tuesday said that talks are on with different parties regarding the formation of the Third Front.
“The country needs a Third Front and talks are on with different political parties over its formation. Even CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury has stated that there is a need for a third front, which is yet to take shape,” the NCP founder said.
The Third Front is likely to include regional parties and Sharad Pawar could lead its formation at the national level, a NCP source was quoted as saying.
Interestingly, Sharad Pawar’s NCP is part of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition in Maharashtra along with the Shiv Sena and the Congress.
The NCP is part of the Left alliance in Kerala, while Pawar also shares a good equation with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, besides sharing good rapport with the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.
If NCP sources are to be believed, the NCP veteran can also persuade the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), JD-S and YRSCP to join the third front, provided their regional interests do not clash with the NCP.
The Congress, which has been leading the opposition campaign against the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre over issues like farmers’ protest, fuel price hike, GST, demonetisation etc, is facing a leadership crisis with many leaders expressing dissatisfaction over the functioning of the team led by Rahul Gandhi.
The main opposition party has failed to cross the three-figure mark in two successive Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and 2019.
Shifting his focus to the poll-bound West Bengal, the NCP chief said that in today’s political situation, any democratic party should support Mamata Banerjee, who is being targeted by the ruling BJP and its top leadership for political gains.
The NCP supremo also expressed solidarity with the West Bengal Chief Minister and said that his party stands firmly with the Trinamool Congress.