Third Front on March 12? Left parties not so sure

March 4th, 2009 - 8:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, March 4 (IANS) Plans by several disparate political parties to come together under a ‘Third Front’ ahead of the Lok Sabha elections have hit a roadblock. The Left parties said Wednesday that its formation - of which they need to be a key part - can only be announced after a March 16 meet.
This comes barely two days after Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) supremo and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda announced that a grand alliance of non-Congress, non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) outfits would be launched at a rally in Tumkur near Bangalore March 12.

“So far the Left parties have not arrived at a decision on the formation of a Third Front. We are in the process of forming it. An announcement will be made only after the Left leaders meet in Delhi on March 16,” T.J. Chandrachoodan, general secretary of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), told IANS.

Though Chandrachoodan said the general secretaries of the four Left parties will attend the March 12 rally organised by Gowda, the modalities of the Third Front would be discussed by the Left only on March 16 before a final announcement is made.

The RSP, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Forward Bloc constitute the Left bloc.

The RSP leader said that the Left parties are still in deliberations with likeminded parties about forming a third alternative against the BJP and the Congress.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader M.K. Pandhe also said that nothing had been decided on the formation of a Third Front.

“The JD-S is a force in Karnataka. A strong Third Front is only possible after making alliances with national parties. So far, we have formed strong regional alliances,” Pandhe said.

Gowda had said the leaders of eight parties, including Prakash Karat of CPI-M, A.B. Bardhan of CPI, N. Chandrababu Naidu of Telugu Desam Party, K. Chandrasekhara Rao of Telangana Rashtra Samiti and J. Jayalalithaa of the AIADMK would attend the Tumkur rally.

The Left leaders said Gowda had initiated the effort to form a ‘third front’ and the name too was given by him alone.

JD-S spokesman Danish Ali, however, said the Left parties were very much active in forming the front.

“Our stand is to form a third alternative against the Congress and the BJP. So we have taken a strong stand with the Left parties. They are very much active in forming the alliance,” Ali said.

The general elections are scheduled in April-May.

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