A chronicle of failed Third Fronts in past

New Delhi: A new trend is emerging in the political movements just as the General Elections draw nearer. Smaller parties have begun shunning national-level giants such as the Congress and the BJP to join another alliance now called the third front.

This has made the possibility of a third front government at the centre very real, which is in fact a repeat of what happened in 1996.

Here’s a brief recap of the other ‘third front’ experiments in the past – all of which failed to provide stable governments.

  • In the 1996 Lok Sabha electons the BJP emerged as a single largest party followed by the Congress.

  • The smaller political parties like DMK and TDP along with the Left ended up forming the government.

  • In the name of keeping the BJP out, they forced the Congress to give outside support and formed the United Front government with H D Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal, as Prime Minister.

  • This government, however did not survive for long as the Sitaram-Kesri led Congress withdrew support 10 months later.

  • The United Front leaders got together once again to support IK Gujral as the Prime Minister in 1997, again with the support of the Congress from outside.

  • Gujral’s coalition however ran into rough weather over DMK’s alleged role in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and he decided to resign and call for fresh elections while only six months into his term.

The other historic milestones for the Third Front

  • In 1977, the Opposition which included the Jana Sangh came together under the banner of the Janata Party soon after the Emergency but fell apart in two years.

  • In 1989, the National Front supported by the BJP and the Left emerged out of a national anger against corruption and made V P Singh the Prime Minister for 11 months.