Modi wave crushes already creaking Third Front
The idea of a Congress-supported - or a Congress-led – Third Front government has again proved to be chimera, as regional, including Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad and M Karunanidhi, have been left defeated and severely mauled.india Updated: May 16, 2014 16:39 IST
The idea of a Congress-supported - or a Congress-led – Third Front government has again proved to be chimera, as regional biggies with formidable support bases, including SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Bihar’s Yadav chieftain Lalu Prasad and canny Dravida M Karunanidhi, have been left defeated and severely mauled.
And all this have been brought about by the Narendra Modi-triggered landslide victory of the BJP. The result: The Congress has been decimated for now. And the Third Front edifice – already creaking because of its own contradictions – seems to have crashed to the ground.
What’s more, the strength of the Left parties – the sponsors of the Third Front concept – may come down from 24 in 2009 to 12 MPs this time, making it quite irrelevant in Indian politics for the next five years.
The BJP tsunami in Uttar Pradesh has reduced both the Congress and the Samajwadi Party to family enterprises – as the likely winners of these parties are mostly members of the ruling families. But the biggest surprise has come from Mayawati’s BSP, which may end up with only one seat. It contested about 500 seats all over the country.
Prasad, with five seats, has done marginally better in Bihar, but his campaign claims of stopping the Modi juggernaut now sound a little melodramatic, especially as Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi is trailing at Saran against the BJP’s Rajeev Pratap Rudy.
The other regional top guns, including the AIADMK’s Jayalalitha, the BJD’s Naveen Patnaik and the Trinamool Congress’ Mamata Banerjee, have done quite well in their respective areas of influence, but they have never been counted among the movers of the Third Front idea.
Indeed, the AIADMK and BJD representatives remained reluctant players to the idea, while the mercurial TMC boss had been working on the alternative idea of a federal front. For, she refused to have anything to do with her archrivals, the Left parties. And the Left never hesitated to return the compliment.
So, where does the Third Front proceed from here? JD (U) leader KC Tyagi sums up: "We will review and introspect on the election results." The future of the front looks as drab and evasive as Tyagi’s action plan.