Sharad Pawar, Prashant Kishor meet for second time in 2 weeks
Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and poll strategist Prashant Kishor on Monday met in Delhi for the second time in nearly two weeks amid buzz about a national coalition against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). News agency PTI reported citing people familiar with the matter that the closed-door meeting between Kishor and Pawar at the NCP chief’s residence lasted for about one-and-a-half hours.
Their meeting comes a day before the NCP’s general body meeting scheduled to be held at Pawar’s residence. Sharad Pawar will host a meeting of the coalition Rashtra Manch with Trinamool Congress leader Yashwant Sinha at his home in the Capital on Tuesday. Sinha, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Manoj Jha and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh are also expected to call on Pawar on Tuesday, according to PTI.
Sharad Pawar and Prashant Kishor met on June 11 for nearly three hours in Mumbai, setting off speculation that efforts had already begun to form a national coalition against the ruling BJP at the Centre ahead of the general elections scheduled to be held in 2024.
While NCP leader aware of the matter said the possibility of an alternative to the BJP was among the topics discussed in the meeting, Prashant Kishor said it was a private one. “It was just a private courtesy meeting over lunch and nothing to do with politics,” Kishor, who has said he won’t be continuing with his job as a poll strategist, said.
Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) has renewed its contract with the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), the company launched by election strategist Prashant Kishor, till the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha polls. After the resounding victory over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recent West Bengal assembly elections, Mamata Banerjee wishes to see her party playing a bigger role in national politics. “The contract is with I-PAC,” Kishor told HT.
Kishor also helped the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) craft the election strategy in the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu. Kishor also advised Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on poll strategy before the 2019 assembly elections.