Prashant Kishor’s meeting with NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar, the second in a span of two weeks, has generated buzz about the 2024 elections but the poll strategist on Tuesday played down the link between the meeting and the ‘Rashtra Manch’ gathering in Delhi.
Speaking to News18, Kishor said: “I rule out any such links with any front. I don’t believe third or fourth front can challenge BJP. History has also shown such fronts do not have capacity.”
He further told News18 that he did have very important discussions with Pawar and will have more meetings “with politics on the plate and 2024 as target”.
Kishor’s statement confirms a united opposition fight against the BJP in 2024, with focus on a face to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
There are also murmurs that the political grouping does not want to be identified as the “Third Front” but rather the second-best alternative to the BJP juggernaut. Hence, it is steering clear of being identified by a nomer.
The deliberations will involve Pawar, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Kishor with the Bengal model as reference for propping up the alliance.
In Bengal, political parties such as the Congress-ISF alliance were wiped away and the state polls were seen as a direct contest between Banerjee and Modi. The opposition leaders feel a similar structure needs to be replicated at the national level as the main force to take on PM Modi.
The ‘Rashtra Manch’ meeting at 4pm on Tuesday will see like-minded individuals from various fields coming together for deliberations.
NCP leader Nawab Malik, while playing down the political significance of the gathering, said senior advocate KTS Tulsi, former chief election commissioner SY Qureshi, former ambassador KC Singh, lyricist Javed Akhtar, filmmaker Pritish Nandy, senior lawyer Colin Gonsalves, media personalities Karan Thapar and Ashutosh would be among the invitees.