Mumbai: Categorically denying any attempts being made to form a third front, Maharashtra Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik on Tuesday said that party president Sharad Pawar will make attempts to bring non-BJP parties across the country on one platform including Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress to form a strong Opposition to defeat BJP.
His statement comes soon after the National Executive meeting of the NCP, which was held today in Delhi after a gap of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This meeting was considered important amidst West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's recent statement about United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the effort to form a new alternative front at the national level.
"Sharad Pawar has such a power that if he can form the government in Maharashtra by bringing Shiv Sena and Congress on one platform, then Sharad Pawar can also bring non-BJP parties across the country on one platform and a strong Opposition to defeat BJP," said Malik.
He said that the NCP will try to bring all non-BJP parties together.
Speaking on the upcoming assembly elections of five states, he said that the other party should support the strong party in each state.
"NCP is with Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and talks are going on with Congress in Goa, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Manipur," he added.
Responding to the question of whether Mamata Banerjee will be a part of UPA, Nawab Malik said that talks will be held with Mamata Banerjee and efforts will be made to bring her in UPA's fold and it will be led by Sharad Pawar.
"If Shiv Sena and Congress can sit together in Maharashtra, NCP can play a part in it, then talks can also be held with Mamata Banerjee," he said.
Malik further said that the way inflation, unemployment and fear have been created in the country, the people of the country want a strong alternative for them.
"There will be no front except the ruling party and then the Opposition. There is an ideological fight in the country. There is a fascist ideology, which is the ideology of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which creates fear. It is an ideology that does injustice to the poor and labourers. NCP will try to bring together all those who want to fight against this ideology," the NCP leader added.
In the National Executive meeting chaired by party president Sharad Pawar, issues like inflation, unemployment were discussed, farmers' agitation, cancellation of Maharashtra's OBC reservation by the Supreme Court, including assembly elections in five states.
Earlier on December 1, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said "What is UPA? There is no UPA," after meeting with Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar.
"A firm alternative course should be made as nobody's fighting against ongoing fascism. Sharad Ji is the senior-most leader and I came to discuss our political parties. I agree with whatever Sharad Ji said. There is no UPA," the West Bengal CM said.
Mamata Banerjee had said that if all the regional parties come together then defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be very easy.