The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) cannot ignore the Third Front, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said on Thursday.
Speaking to the media after kicking off his campaign from the newly created Madha constituency in Solapur, Pawar ruled out the possibility of a Third Front government at the Centre saying the front would not get the magic numbers. However, he predicted that the UPA and Third Front would have to come together to form a government. The Third Front would not side with the BJP due to presence of the Left parties, he added.
Pawar, who is receiving flak from state Congress leaders after his party projected him as a prime ministerial candidate, said he had suggested that the Congress project Manmohan Singh as the UPA’s prime ministerial candidate. “They (Congress) were not ready to accept the idea then.”
Expressing his unhappiness over the Congress’ unwillingness to concede more seats to its allies, Pawar said, “The Congress is finding it difficult to accept the fact that the other parties are growing.”
Pawar on Thursday launched his poll campaign by addressing a massive rally at Nandwal village in Koregaon Taluka of Madha constituency, from where he will be contesting the Lok Sabha elections this time. He assured the gathering from the mostly drought-prone constituency of ensuring regular power supply and water for agriculture if elected. He addressed eight rallies on Thursday.
Pawar is scheduled to address 30 public meetings in the next four days, after which he will be campaigning in the entire state and other parts of the country. Sources in the NCP said Pawar also had a meeting with Udayanraje Bhosale, the 13th scion of Chhatrapati Shivaji Bhosale at Karad.