Third Front Attempt? Arvind Kejriwal Planned Meet With 7 Chief Ministers
A new attempt to advance to the Third Front before the 2024 general election appears to have failed. This time, the author is Party Chief Aam Aadmi Arvind Kejriwal, who wants to strengthen cohesion and form a forum of non-BJP, non-Parliamentary Ministers, with what, sources said, has could take place in 2024. But the dinner he invited them to never happened, with his invitees responding less warmly.
The Delhi minister – who has struggled with the Center and its representative, the Deputy Governor, since coming to power in 2014 – has written to seven Ministers, inviting them to Delhi on March 18. The idea was to find a common cause and form a “group of progressive ministers” who were fighting the Center on similar issues.
The letter — accessed by NDTV — was sent on 5 February to Bengali Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Pinarayi Vijayan of Kerala, MK Stalin of Tamil Nadu, Hemant Soren of Jharkhand and others.
However, sources said Telangana’s Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who was also among those invited, declined citing ill health.
In recent years, Mr. Rao was the first to push for a non-BJP, non-Congressional coalition, but appears to have abandoned his effort due to a lukewarm response from other parties. Now he is focusing his attention on taking his party to other states.
Mr. Kejriwal was one of the few in attendance when Mr. Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi transformed into the national Bharat Rashtra Samithi last month.
Government sources in Bihar and Bengal also confirmed Mr. Kejriwal’s invitation. The Delhi Chief Minister’s Office has yet to respond to the matter.
Bengali Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee – one of the opposition’s main interlocutors in 2019 – has announced that she intends to go it alone in the 2024 general election.
Nitish Kumar of Bihar, who is also widely expected to assume the leadership role after leaving the BJP for the second time, has insisted that he is not seeking the post of Prime Minister. Mr. Tejashwi Yadav’s deputy said today, “Neither he (Nitish Kumar) wants to be Prime Minister nor I want to be Minister. We are happy where we are.”
A unified opposition for 2024 seems to be a long way off even though Congress has stated that it is willing to work with like-minded parties that do not seek leadership in the coalition.