On Tuesday, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) announced the creation of a ‘third front’ with its allies to contest in the Indian general elections, which would be held in the month of May this year. The leftwing party has joined hands with 10 other parties, including three left wing parties and seven regional parties to create a front that could function as a possible alternative to the Congress and BJP, the two main parties that have been dominating Indian politics for several decades now.
Prakash Karat, the general secretary of the Communist Party of India announced the alliance in New Delhi along with some of the country’s best politicians. In his statement, Mr. Karat revealed, “We need an alternative, an alternative to both the Congress and the BJP and that is why we, the leaders of the 11 parties, have resolved today to get together, to work together.”
Mr. Karat has earlier revealed that the Congress looked certain to lose the general elections this year. In the meeting, he revealed that all the parties forming the third front were opposed to the idea of the BJP forming the government under its business friendly and Hindu fundamentalist leader, Narendra Modi. Mr. Karat also indicated that Mr. Modi’s aggressive capitalism and communal ideology towards Muslim minorities would not do any good for the country, should the BJP come to power.
The main parties on the other hand, have mocked the entire idea of the third front. Mr. Modi indicated that this alliance would make the country “third rate” while Congress minister Manish Tewari likened the talk of a third front to a mirage that would never become a reality.
Many politicians have pointed out that the main problem with the third front is the surfeit of ambitious politicians, all of whom want to become the prime minister. The absence of the Aam Aadmi Party in the alliance has also raised some eyebrows, given the fact that the former, led by Arwind Kejriwal, already stands to win a few urban parliamentary seats in the upcoming elections. Mr. Karat however, implies that the AAP is not a fully-fledged party and does not have clear policies, stating that latter was anyways not too keen on establishing political alliances with other parties.
The third front has emerged as a platform of understanding rather than a rigid pre-poll alliance. Mr. Karat reiterates that all the 11 parties in the alliance would work together to strengthen India’s democratic system, protect its secularity, pursue people oriented development in the economic sector and promote a federal India by offering more powers to Individual states.
Along with 10 other parties, the Communist Party of India has formed a loose alliance in the name of a third front to contest in the general elections this May. The sole aim of the parties in the alliance is to remove Congress from power and prevent the BJP from forming the next government. The parties also indicate that if the situation arises, they would join hands with each other to form the government.