Third Front traces at anti-communalism meet

New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) Traces of a Third Front emerging ahead of the 2014 national polls could be seen as 14 parties from diverse backgrounds came together Wednesday to fight against the threat of communalism.

Though the parties did not say it openly that the meet was aimed at any poll alliance, a clear hint came from Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who suggested that these outfits should ponder how to mobilise the democratic forces to defeat the communal ones.

"There is no new front here but we will have to think how the democratic forces can be united based on issues to defeat the communal ones," Nitish Kumar said at the meeting convened here by the Left parties to deal with communalism.

"One hundred percent unity will not be possible but we must explore whatever is practical and possible," he said, adding that "the people of India are secular".

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has been talking about a Third Front for some time, agreed with Nitish Kumar.

"If these 14 parties come together, as Nitish Kumar said, communal forces cannot succeed," he said.

Both Mulayam Singh and Nitish Kumar fancy a chance to be the prime minister of the country contending that both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may not be able to form a government on their own after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

The meet against communalism is significant that it was able to bring parties from divergent backgrounds like JD-U, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), AIADMK, SP, Nationalist Congress Party, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM) and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) together to share the dais.

Four of these regional parties - JD-U, AIADMK, JVM and AGP - have been part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance during 1998-2004.

NCP, part of the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance and SP, which supports it from outside, too were on the dais.

Though playing a crucial role in propping up the UPA, SP chief Mulayam Singh has been flexing his muscles over the past many months by highlighting the need for a Third Front. He, however, has said that any such grouping would be possible only after the 2014 polls.

Separately, AIADMK, BJD and Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have been trying to forge a forum of regional parties to maintain equal distance from both the Congress and the BJP.


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