Expressing confidence that the UPA will retain power after the Lok Sabha elections, NCP chief Sharad Pawar today said he was not averse to the idea of cobbling together a government with the Third Front should the Centre's ruling alliance fall short of a majority. "There is no Third Front as on today. These type of situations develop after the elections and then some viable alternative does emerge," Pawar said.
Asked if he saw such an alternative emerging this time also, he said, "Not yet. Let me tell you frankly, as of today, I have not gone to other states. I will be able to go after April 24 (when polling for last phase in Maharashtra ends)." "That is why, I have not properly assessed (the situation)...I could not get the opportunity to interact with leaders of other parties because of my own responsibility," Pawar told PTI in an interview.
He, however, said a decision on a Third Front will be taken after due consultation with the Congress. "Definitely. You see, these types of decisions are not taken by any individual, for a national level situation. We will discuss with Congress and take a collective decision. The effort (to form Third Front) should also be collective, if required," the 74-year-old NCP leader, said to be harbouring prime ministerial ambitions since long, said.
To a query if such an effort will be before the polls, Pawar said, "No, no. There is ample time after polling and before counting. From April 24 to May 16, there is ample time available."
Asked if he had broached the subject with Congress, Pawar replied in the negative. Prodded if he proposed to, he said, "(it) depends on situation." "I do believe that we should try to keep an excellent rapport with others also," he said.