BJD snubs Gowda, says no decision on joining Third Front
The Biju Janata Dal has denied former prime minister and JD-S leader HD Deve Gowda's claim that it was joining the Third Front. "I heard Gowda-ji on TV. But as of now, we are not committed to joining any front or alliance," BJD spokesperson Damodar Rout said.Updated: Mar 11, 2009 02:15 IST
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Tuesday evening denied former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader HD Deve Gowda's claim that it was joining the Third Front.
"I heard Gowda-ji on TV. But as of now, we are not committed to joining any front or alliance," BJD spokesperson Damodar Rout told IANS by telephone from Orissa capital Bhubaneswar.
"We have not taken up the issue at all. As chief spokesperson of the BJD, I am saying we are not committed to any front at this time," he asserted.
Asked if this meant there was a possibility of the BJD returning to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Rout said: "At present, we are neihter with NDA nor committed to any front."
"We are a regional party. There can be seat adjustments with like-minded, secular parties. We are now busy preparing for the trust vote tomorrow which we will definitely win. After that we will discuss all issues," Rout said.
Asked if he had discussed the matter with BJD leader and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, he said: "Yes, Naveen Patnaik said the BJD is not committed to any front at this time."
Patnaik is seeking the trust vote in the assembly on Wednesday following the withdrawal of support to his ministry by the BJP.
The 11-year-old BJD-BJP alliance in Orissa fell apart on Saturday after disagreement over sharing seats for the Lok Sabha and assembly polls in April-May.
Deve Gowda earlier told reporters in Bangalore: "I talked to Naveen Patnaik this morning. He told me that 'after the trust vote, certainly I am going to join the Third Front. There is no condition'."
The JD-S leader is organising a rally on Thursday near Tumkur, around 70 km from here, which will be addressed by leaders from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Communist Party of India (CPI), Telegu Desam Party, Telengana Rashtra Samiti, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Forward Bloc and the AIADMK.
The rally will mark the beginning of the process of firming up the Third Front ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Deve Gowda predicted major political developments at the national level by April 16, when the voting begins in the five-phase Lok Sabha polls.
"Many parties now in the (Congress-led) United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the NDA may join the Third Front," Deve Gowda said.