Speculation rife about Akhilesh attempt to stitch a Third Front - Hindustan Times
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Speculation rife about Akhilesh attempt to stitch a Third Front

Mar 17, 2023 12:39 AM IST

SP president’s meetings with Jammu and Kashmir National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Wednesday and Thursday have triggered intense speculation about Akhilesh’s Third Front inclination for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Lucknow: Ahead of the Kolkata national executive meeting of the Samajwadi Party (SP), party president Akhilesh Yadav’s meetings with Jammu and Kashmir National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Wednesday and Thursday and likely meeting with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday have triggered intense speculation about Akhilesh’s Third Front inclination for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Akhilesh is likely to meet West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday and the two leaders are likely to discuss the alliance for the polls. (Pic for representation)
Akhilesh is likely to meet West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday and the two leaders are likely to discuss the alliance for the polls. (Pic for representation)

The two-day national executive meeting in Kolkata on March 18 and 19 might make the Samajwadi Party’s stance clear about a national alliance for the next Lok Sabha polls. It will also signal the start of SP’s preparations for the next year’s parliamentary polls.

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Before the executive meeting, Akhilesh is likely to meet West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday and the two leaders are likely to discuss the alliance for the polls in the backdrop of Akhilesh’s vehement frequent opposition to any alliance with the Congress.

“The agenda is strategising for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” said Samajwadi Party national secretary and spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary on Thursday.

Apart from discussing the party’s policies and strategies for the LS polls, the newly formed national executive, along with several special invitees, will discuss assembly elections to be held later this year in three Hindi heartland states of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

The party’s national executive will be held in Kolkata after a gap of 11 years. In the previous instance in 2012, late Mulayam Singh Yadav was the SP national president.

On Friday, Akhilesh is also scheduled to address a workers’ meet in Kolkata.

“The national executive meeting will also discuss the party’s strategies for the upcoming elections later this year in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and then the Lok Sabha polls in 2024,” Kiranmay Nanda, the party’s national vice-president had said to newspersons in Kolkata earlier this week.

Earlier in the day, Akhilesh is likely to call on Mamata Banerjee. The two have supported each other politically since Akhilesh became the UP chief minister in 2012.

During the 2021 assembly polls, Akhilesh Yadav announced his support for the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC). She reciprocated during the 2022 Uttar Pradesh elections when she campaigned for Yadav in Uttar Pradesh.

This is not the first time that the Samajwadi Party’s national executive will be held in Kolkata. It was held there on five occasions, including in 2012.

Akhilesh met Farooq Abdullah at a private event in New Delhi on Wednesday and Lalu Prasad Yadav at Lalu’s daughter Misa Yadav’s Delhi residence on Thursday. Akhilesh’s wife and Mainpuri MP Dimple Yadav had met Lalu on Wednesday.

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