Ahead of the general elections scheduled in 2024, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said that there is a need for like-minded political forces to come together to provide "strong alternative" at the national level.
Pawar spelt out his strategy to counter Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2024 Lok Sabha polls following his meeting with Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee in Mumbai.
After meeting Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, Pawar stated that Mamata's intention is that like-minded forces should come together at the national level and set up a collective leadership.
"We have to provide a strong alternative to leadership. Our thinking is not for today, but for the election. This has to be established and with that intention, she has visited and had a very positive discussion with all of us," he said.
"Be it Congress or any other party, the thing is that those who are against BJP, if they will come together, they are welcome, he said when asked if Congress will be a part of the "strong alternative".
Banerjee, the West Bengal chief minister, has been recently reaching out to an array of regional parties. Her meeting with Pawar came a day after she held discussions with Shiv Sena leaders Sanjay Raut and Aaditya Thackeray.
"Sanjay Raut and Aaditya Thackeray met her. Today, my colleagues and I had a long chat with her. Her intention is, in today's situation like-minded forces have to come together at the national level and set up collective leadership," Pawar said.
Pawar too tweeted a photograph of the meeting with the TMC leader at his residence here.
"Pleased to meet Hon'ble CM of West Bengal Smt @MamataOfficial at my Mumbai residence. We Discussed various issues. We agreed upon the need to strengthen the collective efforts and commitment towards safeguarding democratic values and ensuring the betterment of our people", Pawar tweeted.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal CM after the meeting took another swipe at Congress and questioned the existence of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
"There is no UPA now," Mamata said.
This comment by the TMC chief comes ahead of the Cold War between Congress and the TMC.
Recently, Mamata Banerjee visited Delhi but she did not meet Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi.