"We will like Naveen Patnaik, who will of course be here again as the Chief Minister, to be able to play an important role in our efforts at formation of a non-Congress and non-BJP government at the Centre," Karat told reporters after holding an hour-long discussion with the BJD supremo over lunch.
The CPI(M) leader said Congress-led UPA and BJP-led NDA would not be in a position to form a government on their own strengths, while non-Congress and non-BJP secular parties would be able to do so. His meeting with the BJD supremo came as Patnaik has remained silent on joining the Third Front.
Patnaik, who has kept his cards close to his chest and refrained from declaring his party's open support to the Third Front, said "Karat is in agreement with me that neither of our parties will support a Congress-led or BJP-led government at the Centre."
"Our several parties (which include the Third Front)", Patnaik said, "were in a good and healthy position to give an alternative at the Centre."