Third Front meet cancelled, Left to discuss defeat

May 17th, 2009 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) A Third Front leaders’ meet planned for Monday has been cancelled as the Lok Sabha election results have given a clear mandate to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to rule the country for the next five years.
“There is no urgency in holding the meetings of Left parties and other likeminded parties,” said Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) general secretary T.J. Chandrachoodan.

“But we will continue our cooperation with likeminded parties,” Chandrachoodan told IANS after a meeting of Left party leaders here. The meeting discussed the reasons for the Left’s complete rout in its strongholds, Kerala and West Bengal.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury, Communist Party of India’s (CPI) A.B. Bardhan and D. Raja, Forward Bloc’s Debabrata Biswas and G. Deverajan and RSP’s Chandrachoodan attended the meeting at the CPI-M headquarters.

The Left parties and their Third Front partners, including the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and AIADMK, had decided to meet in the capital Monday to discuss the possibility of forming an alternative secular government, assuming the poll verdict would give a hung house.

But the Left parties suffered a severe blow in the Lok Sabha elections, reducing their number in the Lok Sabha to 24 - CPI-M 16, CPI four, Forward Bloc two and RSP two. In the outgoing Lok Sabha, the Left played a major role as it had 61 MPs.

“The Left parties will work as a responsible opposition in parliament,” said a statement issued by the four parties after the meeting.

“It is not a setback to our policies,” said a senior Left party leader who attended the meeting. It would be wrong to say that the policies were a failure as people did not accept it, he added.

The Left parties said they would meet at the end of this month or early next month after each party discusses its poor performance.

“In the light of the Lok Sabha election results, it was decided that each party individually would review the reverses suffered in the elections. Following this, the Left parties will come to a collective assessment on how to overcome the shortcomings and move ahead,” said the statement.

Prakash Karat has admitted that the Left parties have suffered a major setback in the polls. The CPI-M politburo will meet Monday to analyse the cause of the stunning defeat of the party.

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