Even though the Third Front constituents are increasingly reluctant to share seats with their partners, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat feels the developments are no setback for the political combination ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
“We never had an understanding on the basis of electoral adjustments or seat sharing. We were, in fact, never expecting any electoral pact in the first place," Karat told HT on Friday.
His comments come in the backdrop of Jayalalithaa's AIADMK and HD Deve Gowda's JD(S) refusing to share seats with the CPM in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, respectively. Sources said Jayalalithaa had agreed to give just one seat to the CPM against the party’s demand of two in Tamil Nadu. In Karnataka, the CPM refused to accept the Chikkaballapur seat offered by the JD(S).
While the absence of an alliance with Jayalalithaa will hurt the prospects of the CPM, Karat said, "The idea of the front is, each party will try to maximise seats in their respective states. If we all do well, we can emerge as a strong force after the elections.”
Karat, who has earned the nickname of Sutradhaar (Anchor) of the alternative front in Left circles for his role in stitching together a non-BJP, non-Congress alliance – something that was done by then CPM general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet for decades till he passed away -- said it would be impossible for the Left parties to leave seats for the JD(U) or SP in West Bengal. The SP is likely to field three-four candidates in Bengal.
“The alternative front which we are trying to project is not built on electoral alliances so there is no question of seeing the recent developments as a setback,” Karat said. Top Left sources pointed out that in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, BSP chief Mayawati had agreed to join hands with them during her meeting with Karat but refused to share any seat.