Gowda forming Third Front for Lok Sabha pollsMarch 2nd, 2009 - 8:44 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, March 2 (IANS) Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) supremo and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda will spearhead the Third Front of eight parties in Karnataka as an alternative force for the upcoming general elections in April-May.
“The Third Front will be launched first in Karnataka and extended to other states subsequently in alliance with other secular parties, as we want to maintain equi-distance from the Congress as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” Gowda told IANS Monday soon after dates for the parliamentary polls were announced in New Delhi by the Election Commission.
The constituents of the Third Front will be the Communist Party of India-Marxists (CPI-M), the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Forward Bloc (FB), the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) besides JD-S.
The formation of the Third Front will be announced March 12 at an election rally near Tumkur, about 70 km from Bangalore, in the presence of the leaders of the eight parties, including Prakash Karat of the CPI-M, A.B. Bardhan of the CPI, N. Chandrababu Naidu of the TDP, Chandrasekar Rao of the TRS and J. Jayalalithaa of the AIADMK.
“Unlike the previous elections (2004), we want to give the people an opportunity to vote the Third Front to power this time, as the Congress-led UPA (United Progressive Alliance) and the BJP-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) have miserably failed to govern the country,” Gowda said.
Ruling out an alliance with the Congress in his home state, Gowda said the question did not arise as his regional party had decided to align with non-Congress and non-BJP secular parties such as the Left Front, the TDP, the TRS and the AIADMK.
“We are going to outline the objectives and programmes and explore a common manifesto. As each state requires special attention on issues that have national implications, the Third Front will have a unique agenda to address the burning problems of people, especially farmers and rural folks,” Gowda pointed out.
Polling in Karnataka will be held April 23 and April 30 for the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies, with 17 in the first phase and 11 in the second phase. The ruling BJP in the state and the Congress are the other two national parties in the fray.
Asked about the prospects of the Third Front in the coming polls, Gowda said it was too early to forecast the outcome but expressed confidence that the electorate would teach a fitting lesson to the Congress and the BJP.
“People have a bitter experience of both the national parties and their alliances. The Congress-led UPA has failed to serve the cause of aam admi (common man) and farmers due to price rise, economic slowdown, unemployment and poor remuneration to farmers, leading to spate of suicides.
“The BJP has vitiated the peaceful and secular atmosphere in the state by failing to crack down on right wing forces indulging in moral policing, breakdown in law and order and poor governance,” Gowda added.