Amid heightened speculation about the possibility of the formation of a third front against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), leaders of several Opposition parties including Trinamool Congress (TMC), Samajwadi Party (SP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and the Left assembled at Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar's residence in the national capital on Tuesday and discussed various issues facing the country.
However, leaders who took part in the discussions asserted that it was a "non-political" meeting of like-minded individuals by Rashtriya Manch that was floated by former finance minister and TMC vice-president Yashwant Sinha along with others.
NCP leader Majid Menon said it was not a meeting for forming an anti-BJP front or a non-Congress front. "In today's meeting, we discussed as to what role the Rashtra Manch can play to improve political, economic, social environment in the country. Suggestions were heard. Javed Sahab & Justice (retd) AP Shah also put forward their view," he said.
Meanwhile, former Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha took to Twitter after the gathering and said it was a "meeting of minds". "Tactics, strategy and roadmap is the next steps. Game on," he added.
The meeting lasted for two and a half hours and was attended by Omar Abdullah from National Conference, Samajwadi Party's (SP) Ghanshyam Tiwari, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Jayant Chaudhary, Sushil Gupta from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Binoy Viswam from the Communist Party of India (CPI), Nilotpal Basu from CPI(M), former Janata Dal (United) leader Pavan Verma, Sinha and Jha among others.
Besides politicians, several eminent personalities such as Javed Akhtar, Ambassador KC Singh, Justice (retd.) AP Shah were also present at the meeting.