Political upheavals in the NDA and troubles within the UPA have reignited ambitions of regional political satraps to cobble together an alternative Third Front in the run-up to the 2014 general elections.
Ahead of his rally in the capital on Wednesday to demand special status for his state, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik said that the formation of a “federal front” would be a “healthy development” for the national polity.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has also renewed her appeal for the same.
Political configurations are on the verge of change. The UPA has lost its allies and it is unlikely that the NDA will be able to retain them too.
However, past experience with Third Front governments have been disastrous, while subsequent efforts at reviving the idea have been stymied because of the prime ministerial ambitions of too many regional political leaders.
“This is all the more reason to ensure that the platform has a national political agenda and a common ideological framework. If this is possible, we will actively consider participating in it,” Bihar JD(U) president Vashisht Narain Singh said.
Preliminary talks on furthering the concept are said to be on amongst leaders of parties including the SP, JD(S), AGP, AIADMK, JD(U) and TDP — besides leaders of the four Left parties.
“CPM general secretary Prakash Karat discussed this with our party boss Chandrababu Naidu. We have been in touch with leaders of like-minded parties,” K Rammohan Rao, a close aide of Naidu, said.