The Third Front, the coalition of disparate political parties, is an illusion, a farce and a misnomer, say its rivals.
A team of Marxists, regional parties and headstrong leaders simply can’t exist for long, say political analysts. Congress president Sonia Gandhi says the Third Front is “prone to disintegration”.
“The Third Front is not good for democracy and they cannot provide good governance to the people,” she says.
BJP leader L K Advani calls the Third Front a “farcical illusion” and says the main electoral fight is between the BJP-led NDA and the Congress-led UPA.
“There is no scope for a Third Front government, which does not have the support of BJP or Congress. It is a farcical illusion in the minds of people,” he says.Is the Third Front a repeat of the wobbly United Front, which ruled the country between 1996 and 1998? Third Front leaders reject their doubters and critics and claim only their coalition represents the country’s political kaleidoscope.
Is the Third Front a genuine challenge to the Big Two parties? CNN-IBN’s Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai asked this on The Weekend Edition to Congress spokesperson Ashwani Kumar, CPI national secretary D Raja, and Chandan Mitra, BJP Rajya Sabha MP and editor-in-chief of the Pioneer.
If the Third Front is significant then why are its rivals wasting so many words on it, said Raja. “We don’t call it Third Front–we are trying to build an alternative to the Congress and the BJP. If people call it Third Front, let me accept it. If it is a farcical illusion then why should Mr Advani cry hoarse and why should Mr Pranab Mukherjee express his anger,” he said.
“This shows the BJP and the Congress are jittery and they are afraid of the emerging combine, which is going to provide a credible and viable alternative.”
Nobody in the BJP is “petrified” of the Third Front, said Mitra. “Only the Congress need be worried because their people are leaving and joining the Third Front.”
The Third Front won’t survive because there is no “glue” to hold it together, said Kumar. “I don’t see any possibility in this election for a government led by the Third Front, or by whatever name you may call that motley combination of leaders and people,” he said.