statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 14 JUNE: Amidst the Left&’s efforts to project its “third alternative” proposal, CPI-M leader Mr Sitaram Yechury today met Janata Dal-United president Sharad Yadav while CPI veteran Mr A B Bardhan held talks with Samajwadi Party leader Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav even as they slammed the “Federal Front” idea.
The Left parties have decided to hold a convention on its third alternative proposal on 1 July. They have been particularly concerned over the BJP&’s projection of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its election battle leader and the suggestion for the Federal Front by a group of chief ministers.
Attacking the Federal Front suggestion, the CPI veteran and former party general secretary, Mr Bardhan, said the idea floated by “one or two chief ministers” was neither feasible nor likely to inspire confidence among voters.
He said the Federal Front was supposed to bring together the chief ministers of states who have grievances against the step-motherly treatment meted out by the Congress-ruled Centre. However, Mr Bardhan said: “The people want a government whose policies are opposed to the anti-people policies that are being pursued today. These policies have also the support of the Opposition BJP which is now set on a strident communal course with the elevation of Mr Modi.” Mr Bardhan said only a non-Congress, non-BJP coalition, which pursued “credible alternate policies on people&’s issues, which steers the country on a left and democratic course is the need of the hour”.
Such a programme-based coalition government can emerge through struggles and may be formed after the polls, he said. “Only such a front can provide a viable alternative to the present dispensation. The Left parties are working towards that end,” the CPI leader said.
Mr Bardhan, accompanied by party colleague, Mr Atul Anjaan, held discussions with Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav for more than an hour and discussed the third alternative proposal, along with the current political situation.
Mr Anjaan said Mr Bardhan talked to Mr Naveen Patnaik and Mr Sharad Yadav also. The CPI leader said the Left parties were likely to get active in mobilising support for the third alternative proposal. Mr Bardhan said the chances of the third alternative crystallising as a political body were greater after the next Lok Sabha poll.
Asked about their talks, neither Mr Sharad Yadav nor Mr Yechury revealed what was discussed during the 30-minute exchange of views. Mr Yechury said the Left wanted unity of parties on the basis of alternative policies.
Asked whether the Left would join a Third Front, he said it “depends upon the programme and policies” of such a platform. He, however, made it clear that there was “no such talk” (of third front) at the meeting.
He said nothing much should be made out of his meeting Mr Yadav. Mr Yechury said the JD-U chief had invited him for dinner which he could not attend. “There is no politics … We have been old friends.” CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat had, yesterday, ruled out any effort by the Left to forge a third front and said the electoral strategy would only be to have a temporary arrangement based on seat adjustments and tactics.
“The Left has always been telling what the country needs and what the people are looking for is relief from their burdens. And such relief can come only if alternative policies are put in place,” he had said, and pointed out that the policies of both the BJP and the Congress were “virtually similar”.
In this situation, “the country and the people need some sort of alternative which can be worked out only by the active participation of the Left”.
CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat had ruled out any effort by the Left to forge a third front and said the electoral strategy would only be to have a temporary arrangement based on seat adjustments and tactics.