"There can be no front without Congress," Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said following his meeting with Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, 7 December. Further, he said:
"There can be no front without Congress. Even if there is a new alliance, an alliance will work under the leadership of Congress. There are many parties with the Congress. So why three - three front are required? What to do with so many fronts? In this way, we will not be able to give an alternative to BJP."
Sharing that "an attempt is being made to convene a meeting of the opposition," Raut said: "I have requested Rahul Gandhi to take the initiative in this matter."
"The leadership of this front will be decided later," he further informed.
He described the meeting as having been long and added, according to ANI: "I will first meet Uddhav Thackeray and then we'll talk about it."
Raut is also likely to meet Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday.
The Sena, the Congress, and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are in alliance in Maharashtra's Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
The meet comes just days after Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai, where her remarks of "no UPA left" in the country made headlines.
Her comments had sparked speculations of Banerjee contemplating an Opposition alliance without the Congress. Banerjee had also met Raut and Maharashtra minister Aditya Thackeray during her visit.
The Congress had reacted sharply to Banerjee's comments and the speculations, saying that there cannot be a strong Opposition alliance without the party.