Over the past two days, at least three senior leaders of the BJP including its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi have trashed the endeavour.
With the Left initiative to put together a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative finding some traction over the past couple of days, the BJP has now begun training its guns on the constituents of this yet-to-be-named group.
Over the past two days, at least three senior leaders of the BJP including its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi have trashed the endeavour. So much so that the Congress got some relief from Mr. Modi’s barbs at the Jan Chetna Sabha he addressed on Wednesday at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground.
While the Left came in for scathing attack, Mr. Modi sought to drive home the fact that the western part of India has done better than the eastern flank primarily because the outfits that have traditionally formed the “Third Front” were kept at bay.
Taking a dig at the meeting in Delhi of some of the leaders of the parties that are trying to provide a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative, Mr. Modi said: “They should cast a glance at this gathering and they will know which way the winds are blowing.” Stating that 35 years of Left party governance had been a drag on West Bengal, he added: “The aim of the Third Front is to turn India into a third-rate country.”
Though other senior party leaders have also weighed in similarly, the possibility of another block emerging post-poll has evidently set the cat among the pigeons as far as the BJP is concerned. In an article released a day after the Communist Party of India announced an electoral understanding with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Monday acknowledged that the regional parties have a support base of their own and are likely to “win a reasonable number of Lok Sabha seats”.
Though some of these parties were part of the United Front government propped up with outside support from the Congress, Mr. Jaitley made no mention of that and said the regional parties occupy the non-Congress space and “their politics can never be one of alignment with the Congress”.
Further, he dwelt on the inherent contradictions of the “Third Front”; pointing out that it lacked ideological coherence and did not have a nucleus with a large political presence which can provide stability to such a grouping.
Responding to the decision of the erstwhile “Third Front” constituents to form a separate block in this session of Parliament, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad dubbed the effort as a “futile exercise” carried out before every election and compared it with rituals associated with a marriage. Billing it as an attempt by tired people who have lost the faith of the people, he added that the idea of a “Third Front” is history which has no relevance for the present nor holds any promise for the future.