As a clear picture is yet to emerge on the formation of a national-level alliance alternative to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda has said the formation of such an alliance is inevitable.

The prospects of the UPA and the NDA in the next general election were dim and whatever might be the differences among the non-Congress and non-BJP parties, post-poll, there could be a realignment of forces to give the best to the people of the country.

Talking to The Hindu over telephone from Bangalore on Saturday, Mr. Gowda, who is the president of the Janata Dal (Secular) and who headed the United Front government for about 10 months in 1996, however, made it clear that his party would maintain equidistance from both the Congress and the BJP at the national level à la Karnataka.

Except in a few States, things were being worked out for setting up an alternative front to mar the prospects of the Congress and the BJP in the polls. The results of the by-elections in Uttar Pradesh showed that the future of the Congress there was bleak, he said.

To a question, Mr. Gowda said he was simply watching the developments on political realignment at the national level and he had no plans to take any initiative to consolidate them. The JD(S)’ alliance with the Left parties was strong and continuing, he said to another question.

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