New Delhi: In indications of emergence of a Third Front ahead of Lok Sabha polls, 11 non-Congress and non-BJP parties on Wednesday formally joined hands as a block in Parliament to pitch for pro-people, anti-communal and federal agenda.
The announcement was made at a joint press conference of leaders of these parties including the four Left parties, Samajwadi Party, JD(U), AIADMK, AGP, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, JD(S) and BJD.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and JD(U) President Sharad Yadav said this was the 'first step' after the parties came together in October last for an anti-communal convention here.
"The block has been set up primarily to raise issues affecting the people in Parliament," Yechury said when asked whether it should be called a third front.
"Don't get into abstractions. We are all here (from various parties) sitting together. You can see us all together. Whoever claims of talking to someone or some party is all a claim and therefore is an abstraction," he said when asked about Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's call for a federal front.
Referring to the six anti-corruption bills being pushed by the government, he said the 11 parties will ensure that no bill is passed amid din as the ruling party and UPA could use the legislations to launch their poll campaign.
Besides former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, the press conference was attended by M Thambidurai (AIADMK), Basudeb Acharia (CPI-M), K C Tyagi (JD-U), Jay Panda (BJD), Biren Baishya (AGP) and Ramgopal Yadav (SP), D Raja (CPI), Manohar Tirkey (RSP) and Barun Mukherjee (Forward Bloc).
On Congress bid to get six anti-graft laws passed, Yechury said, "While we have been raising these issues for a long time, Congress has brought these up only now after remaining in power for five years. We want to have a debate on them, but it is the prime responsibility of the ruling party to create conditions to have such a discussion in the House.
"We saw today that Congress members and even their Ministers are on loggerheads over Telangana. They are vociferously and angrily divided and disrupting the House. They are actually helping communal forces," Yechury said.
"We will not allow them (Congress) to use this as a launching pad for elections," he said. Responding to questions on the future of the block after the end of the Winter session, Yechury said the future programme will be announced shortly.
"A joint programme will be launched later which will be the second step", the JD(U) chief said. The programme will contain issues relating to the livelihood of the people, upholding federalism and secular-democratic foundations and combating corruption, Yechury and the JD(U) chief said.
SP's Ram Gopal Yadav also said the leaders of the 11 parties will meet soon to chalk out future strategy. When questioned about the future of such a block when its constituents have a history of 'ditching' each other, CPI's Gurudas Dasgupta said what happened in the past may not happen now as history does not necessarily repeat itself.
Yechury said the block constituents were optimistic as the world survives on confidence. He brushed aside queries about SP being an outside supporter of the Congress-led coalition, saying "ask individual queries to individual parties".
On having a front with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), he said, "We are in Parliament and we can't make a morcha (front) with AAP here."
Responding to further queries, the CPI(M) leader said issues relating to security of people of Northeast living in other parts of the country, Indian fishermen imprisoned in Sri Lanka or Odisha cyclone or Telangana, would all be in the agenda to be formulated soon.
Next: Third Front attempts a 'futile' exercise: BJP
Third Front attempts a 'futile' exercise: BJP
New Delhi: BJP on Wednesday dubbed the attempts of regional parties and the Left to forge a Third Front as a 'futile exercise' carried out before every election and compared it with rituals associated with a marriage.
The party also termed it as an exercise attempted by 'tired' people who have 'lost' faith of the people.
"Rituals are an integral part of any marriage. A futile exercise of Third Front or a Federal Front is integral to every election," BJP's deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
He said the thought of a Third Front "is a part of history as it has no relevance for the present and no promise for the future".
Prasad said earlier there used to be such attempts being made at one place, now such attempts are being made across the country, including one in the South and one in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
He referred to the alliance forged between AIADMK and CPI and CPI(M) in Tamil Nadu as well as "failed" attempts made by SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh and Nitish Kumar in Bihar.
Rubbishing such attempts, the BJP leader said no one knows who their leader will be or what their policies are.
"This is an initiative by tired people who have lost faith of the people of the country. Still, every one has the right to make such attempts in a democracy," he said.
In indications of emergence of a Third Front ahead of Lok Sabha polls, 11 non-Congress and non-BJP parties today joined hands as a block in Parliament to pitch for pro-people, anti-communal and federal agenda.
The announcement was made at a joint press conference of leaders of these parties including the four Left parties, Samajwadi Party, JD(U), AIADMK, AGP, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, JD(S) and BJD....