Cicadas in the United States awoke from their 17-year long hibernation this year and spread across the country. While the Indian opposition doesn’t hibernate that long, it certainly galvanizes itself every 4-5 years to come together and form a third front. Leading the campaign this time is Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo and an old workhorse of Indian politics — Sharad Pawar. According to media reports, the NCP supremo held a meeting today (June 22) of non-Congress opposition leaders to discuss the possibility of regional parties coalescing together to launch a concerted campaign against PM Narendra Modi led NDA.
“Sharad Pawar Ji and Shri Yashwant Sinha Ji are co-chairing a discussion on the present national scenario. Yashwant Sinha has requested your kind presence and participation in the meeting,” the invite read.
After meeting poll strategist Prashant Kishor for the second time in two weeks, Pawar called the meeting and the political corridors are abuzz with speculations regarding the future of opposition. However, an interesting development has emerged, much before the meeting and that is the snub extended to Congress and the Gandhi clan.
While Trinamool Congress (TMC), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Samajwadi Party and G-23 leaders of the Congress have been invited, the core Congress high command has been ignored.
— NDTV (@ndtv) June 21, 2021
It is an unspoken fact that opposition parties are done waiting for Congress party prince Rahul Gandhi to come off age and weave his political magic. If politics is the wizardry world, then Rahul Gandhi certainly is the unfortunate muggle, who despite having the best resources at his disposal, doesn’t have the talent to rise anywhere near the towering stature of PM Narendra Modi.
The opposition has understood this reality and is now focusing on a front that is independent of Congress. The party has lost its relevance after the Modi wave upstaged it in 2014. Pawar, seemingly in the last stretch of his political career is willing to gamble everything to fulfil his ambitions of becoming the PM which he came perilously close to achieving in 1991 and 1996.
Tomorrow Tuesday 22nd June 2021 at 11:30 am, our party President Sharad Pawar saheb will host a meeting at his residence at 6, Janpath in New Delhi.
The following prominent political leaders and eminent persons from different sections of society will attend the meeting to (1/3)
— Nawab Malik نواب ملک नवाब मलिक (@nawabmalikncp) June 21, 2021
And it is not only the opposition that has lost its faith in Rahul Gandhi, but the big lobbying groups funding the grand old party have started betting on non-Gandhi faces to carry the opposition on the 2024 battlefield.
Sharad Pawar’s desperation to build a third front could also be attributed to the fact that his money-minting factory, the cooperative banks of Maharashtra and their functioning has now under the supervision of RBI. As reported by TFI, during a party meeting on Wednesday (June 2), the NCP supremo gave his nod to set up a task force to prepare an action plan against the new law.
While the possibility of formulating a third front has been as unattainable as Congress appointing a non-Gandhi head as the party leader, it certainly has added some spice to the banal conversation regarding the opposition of the country.