Seeking to create a pressure group in the ruling United Progressive Alliance to take on the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday called up Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav and Dravida Munetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi.
Pawar reportedly sought their help to send across a message to the Congress that it cannot run the administration as if it was a Congress government.
DMK leader T R Baalu also called on Pawar following a direction from Karunanidhi to understand the latter's sudden tiff with the Congress.
Pawar told him that the Congress cared less for the allies, refusing to even respond to constructive suggestions given by him in letters to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week.
Insiders speculate that Pawar may toy with the idea of leading a Third Front in the 2014 election with some constituents of the UPA and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance.
Notwithstanding repeated threats of quitting the UPA government, a desperate Pawar's aides -- Praful Patel and D P Tripathi -- are ringing up senior Congress leaders to work out a compromise formula.
They were told that the Congress can consider political demands, but not when they are linked with the demand that allies must have a share in the posts like the governors, ambassadors and bank directors.
Congress sources said the NCP's latest threat on Tuesday to pull down the coalition government in Maharashtra by breaking the 13-year alliance did not go down well with the party leadership.
Pawar is only weakening his own case by trying to blackmail the Congress to act on his terms, the sources added.