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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi/Patna, February 10, 2014
The efforts at cobbling together a Third Front would be taken up in earnest after the ongoing Parliament session ends on February 21. Eleven non-Congress, non-BJP parties will work out plans for joint campaigns and rallies at various cities including Bangalore and Patna. This was decided at a meeting of senior leaders of the Left Front and the Janata Dal in New Delhi on Monday. Those present at the meet, held at the residence of JD(S) leader and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, included Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, CPM’s Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury, AB Bardhan of the CPI and Debabrata Biswas of the Forward Block.

“We discussed ways to take forward the idea. Since Nitish Kumar is in Delhi we got the opportunity to discuss the matter directly with him,” said CPM general secretary Prakash Karat. Yechury described the alliance in-the-making as a “First Front”, saying the aim was to formulate policies which would bring relief on the economic front and protect people from communal forces.

Returning to Patna later in the day, Kumar confirmed that a ‘federal front’ was now close to reality.  “The front is yet to be firmed up but BJP leaders are already worried. They are all ‘’hawa-hawai’’ (air bags) and this has taken the wind out of their sails,” he said. “This is an initiative of the Left parties. We discussed the matter with Mulayam Singh Yadav. We are also talking to Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.”

On February 5, representatives of 11 non-Congress, non-BJP parties had met in Delhi with the aim of working as a block in Parliament to pitch for a pro-people, anti-communal agenda.