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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Third Front tumbling, Mamata comes to fore

Srinand Jha, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 09, 2014
First Published: 23:58 IST(9/3/2014) | Last Updated: 00:03 IST(10/3/2014)

The Third or Alternative Front seems crumbling under the weight of its own inherent contradictions, with constituent partners unwilling to share seats with the movers of the initiative – the Left Front partners.

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Close on the heels of AIADMK-CPI(M) break up in Tamil Nadu, other regional satraps including SP’s Mulayam Singh Yadav, JD(U’s) Nitish Kumar and BJD’s Naveen Patnaik have rejected overtures of the Left Front to go in for seat adjustments with the CPI(M) and other Left Front partners.

For fear of a low turnout and the possibility of HD Deve Gowda’s JD(U) getting “undue importance”, the proposed joint rally of 11 non-Congress, non-BJP parties at Bangalore has been called off. “No plans have been worked out for joint rallies of Front partners at other locations,” said CPI leader Sudhakar Reddy.

In a scenario of a premature collapse of the Left-sponsored Front, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee’s plan of a “federal front” is gaining momentum.

“The Left Front, which has just marginal utility today, is trying to extract its pound of flesh by compelling partners to go in for seat adjustments. This is not possible,” a Third Front leader said, while prophesying that “a fresh reconfiguration of regional forces would take place in the post-poll scenario”.

Problems have erupted among other constituent partners. Given the SP’s unwillingness to share seats with his party in Uttar Pradesh, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav told party workers at Lucknow on Thursday not to take the Third Front too seriously. “We will form our own Front, if the need arises,” Yadav said.

The JD(U) has spared two Lok Sabha seats to the CPI in Bihar, but is unwilling to give in to demands of the CPI(M) to concede the Ujiarpur Lok Sabha constituency. The BJD remains unwilling to go in for any seat adjustment.

JD(U) spokesman KC Tyagi asserted that the failure of seat adjustment talks did not mean that the Front had collapsed.


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