Assam’s Third Front fizzles out even before taking off

February 24th, 2009 - 11:16 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyGuwahati, Feb 24 (IANS) The much hyped third front in Assam has collapsed even before it could take off, with the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) severing all links with one of the four major alliance partners, the Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF).
“We wanted to have a seat sharing arrangement and stand united to fight the Congress and BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), but we failed to mutually agree on certain seats with the AUDF. From now on we don’t have any links with the AUDF as the agreement failed,” senior CPI-M leader Hemen Das told IANS.

The AUDF, the CPI-M, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had earlier this month announced their decision to work out a seat sharing arrangement to fight the upcoming general elections, with the four constituents of the third front agreeing to field mutually acceptable candidates.

The idea to form a third front was necessitated after the regional Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) decided to align with the BJP for the parliamentary elections in Assam.

Prior to the AGP-BJP pre-poll tie up, there were talks going on for a grand alliance of all non-Congress and non-BJP formations in Assam.

“We shall now field candidates against the AUDF in at least three seats. We are now keeping our options open for seat sharing agreement with the CPI and the NCP,” Das said.

AUDF president and perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal announced his candidature for the Silchar parliamentary seat - an announcement that angered the CPI-M.

The spat between the two main partners of the third front - the AUDF and the CPI-M - led to the breakdown of the fledgling political formation.

“We tried our best to keep the pre-poll alliance intact, but we failed,” said AUDF working president Hafiz Rashid Choudhury.

The political scene in Assam as of now is totally fractured - the AGP-BJP on one side, the Congress and its alliance partner the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) on another side, while the Left parties, the AUDF and other parties join the race for power.

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