Amid third front buzz, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar says cannot do it without Congress

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Friday broke the silence on the Rashtra Manch meeting, which he hosted recently at his residence, saying that there was no discussion on alliance or formation of a non-BJP front. However, he clarified that if an alternative force is to be put in place it will be done only by taking the Congress party together. He said he had put up his argument in this regard at the Rashtra Manch meeting.

"The role of the Rashtra Manch is to provide an alternative model to improve the political, economic and social environment in the country. The meeting was a non-political event’’, said Pawar. "If an alternate front needs to be in force, then we have to take the Congress along. There is a feeling among the people to have an alternative to the present establishment. It has to be fulfilled by the political leadership. It needs to be done by us’’, he noted.

To a question on leading the alternative front, Pawar said the meeting did not discuss this issue so we do not know as of now who will head it. I have been involved in such activities for many years. I do not want to associate with the leadership issue. I will guide them, give them strength, help them and try to keep them united’,’ he opined.

On Congress party’s going solo in upcoming elections in Maharashtra, Pawar said, "Every political party has the right to expand its organization. We have no complaints about that. Such announcements are made to keep the party workers’ morale high. If Congress is making any effort for this, then we welcome it’’.

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