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Third Front hope rests on Mulayam

An assembly of leader said a realignment of political forces underway at the national level will speed up after the UP election result, reports Srinand Jha.

india Updated: Apr 09, 2007 05:16 IST

An assembly of leaders, mostly former chief ministers, said a realignment of political forces underway at the national level will speed up after the Uttar Pradesh election result.

They were in Barielly to campaign for Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday. "The UPA coalition is dysfunctional and unstable. The Manmohan Singh government tends to neglects oppressed sections. A verdict in favour of Mulayam Singh Yadav will hasten the formation of the third front," former Karnataka chief minister S. Bangarappa said at a public rally.

Suspended Congress leader K. Natwar Singh said the "unprincipled UPA coalition will come down like a pack of cards if the Samajwadi Party returns to power."

Coming together

Former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chauthala called it a decisive election. "At stake is the very concept of India's secularism," he said. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said it was time for the third front to entrench itself as the "Congress had been wiped out."

TDP leader N. Chandrababu Naidu explained the position: "Elections come and go. But we are talking about an alternative economic programme. Re-emergence of a third front is a viable idea."

Promises

Mulayam Singh dangled several carrots. Reduction on cooperative bank loan interest from 11 per cent to 6 per cent, loans to farmers for purchasing seeds and scaled up values of compensation to farmers for accidental deaths (from Rs.1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh); housing plan those belonging to all castes under "Lohia Awas Yojna"; monthly pension of Rs 4,000 to those who were jail during Emergency; a world-class cancer hospital in the state were some promises that Samajwadi Party intends to fulfill if allowed another term.

Jaya missing

AIADMK leader J. Jayalalitha cancelled her journey at the last moment. Had she come, it would have been her first rally in Hindi in Uttar Pradesh. "Jayalalitha sent her message in support of Mulayam Singh and promised to address a Samajwadi Party rally in Allahabad later this month," Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh said.

Decked up

Bareilly was a riot of colours. Red and green flags of Samajwadi Party, interspersed with Telugu Desam flags, had their symbolic moments. When former External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh was on the microphone, Amar Singh asked him to pause. Reason: strains of the "namaaz" could be heard somewhere in the distance.