In another effort at putting together an ‘alternative front’, non-Congress and non-BJP parties are trying to work out a joint political strategy ahead of Parliament session beginning February 5.
Even though past efforts to form a Third Front have been disastrous, leaders of such parties are likely to meet in New Delhi next week to discuss the idea.
Such parties — including the SP, JD(U), AIADMK, BJD, Punjab People’s Party and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik, besides the four Left parties — are represented by over 70 MPs in the Lok Sabha.
They share a common approach on issues concerning the country’s federal structure and threats concerning the "rise of communal forces". However, the concept suffers from fault lines, as traditional political rivals in several states are unwilling to break bread together. The AIADMK and the DMK in Tamil Nadu; the SP and BSP in Uttar Pradesh, besides the Left and Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, apart from the JD (U) and the RJD in Bihar are at loggerheads on their home turf.
"We are not letting these issues tie us down, since it is not a new political front that is being proposed. The idea is only to bring about a broad understanding among non-Congress secular parties to fight issues of common concern such as price rise and corruption," said JD (U) leader KC Tyagi.
"Firming up such a coalition is a good idea," said BJD leader Bharatuhari Mahtab.
The initiative is the outcome of the Left-sponsored meeting of 17 non-Congress secular parties organised on October 30 last with the aim of putting up a joint fight to prevent the rise of "communal forces".
The meeting had been attended by representatives of the Nationalist Congress Party – an alliance partner of the ruling UPA.