Nitish Kumar, apparently still smarting from the Congress's snub, appeared until now to be the only mover of the Third Front ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, but steps to firm up the alliance have gained momentum over the past few days. Leaders from as many as 11 parties are scheduled to meet this week to form this anti-Congress, anti-Modi block.
Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav said the meeting of the leaders of 11 parties will take place on Wednesday, according to a report in The Economic Times. A separate meeting of all parties that were once part of the 'Janata parivar' is scheduled for Sunday. Those likely to attend include Naveen Patnaik, Deve Gowda, Om Prakash Chautala and Mulayam Singh Yadav.
"This is a lame duck government and we will not allow new legislation or announcements that require people’s support. This is the last session of Parliament and we will use this opportunity to tell the people that as a group we are bigger than Bharatiya Janata Party,” the JD(U) president was quoted as saying.
The report said Sharad Yadav and Prakash Karat had held discussions, while a meeting with CPI (M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury was still to take place. JD (U) spokesman KC Tyagi said the group wants a distinct identity for this block of parties. He indicated that the Left would be a key member of the Third Front. The CPI, meanwhile, tied up with AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa.
Rejecting the possibility of a big NDA win in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the leaders of the Janata Dal (United) have appeared keen to stitch up a third front, starting with former members of the erstwhile Janata Dal.
In an earlier interview to The Economic Times, Nitish Kumar has said the third front could take the shape of a big party or a front. "It’s not exactly a merger of parties, but we can federate these parties," Nitish told the paper.
Meanwhile, The Hindu reported that talk of AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa being portrayed as a prime ministerial candidate could be significant in the eventuality of a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative performing well in the elections. Jaya met CPI leader Sudhakar Reddy and AB Bardhan in Chennai over the weekend, before announcing that her AIADMK would face the Lok Sabha polls along with the CPI.
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Updated Date: Feb 03, 2014 10:46:26 IST