The significance of a ‘third front' at the Centre will be significantly reduced if the Communist party of India (Marxist) loses in both West Bengal and Kerala Assembly elections, according to Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley.

He said here on Saturday that the situation might give rise to “new polarisation in national politics.”

Mr. Jaitley also envisioned the resurgence of the BJP as the “major political party” in national politics given the “increasing unpopularity” of the “corruption-tainted” Congress-led UPA government.

Speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day-long conference organised by the West Bengal unit of the BJP, he described the alliance between the Trinamool Congress and the Congress as “an alliance of negativity.”

“The only basis of this alliance is to contest against the Left Front but the ideological base in this alliance is lacking. If the Centre takes certain actions, the Trinamool Congress criticises it. I think the parties are already uncomfortable on seat-sharing. We wish both the parties well,” Mr. Jaitely said.

Casting doubt on the Trinamool Congress' ability to offer good governance to the people, he said that while the party's track record in governance matters did not induce people's trust, its alleged association with the Maoists also raised serious questions.

“Should I support the Maoists just to win some extra votes? Should West Bengal's political future be a clash between the Marxists and the Maoists? The Maoists want to overthrow the parliamentary democracy through violent means and it is only those political parties who have scant regard for democracy that support the Maoists,” Mr. Jaitley asserted.

Alleging that the Left Front government brought about a holistic degradation of West Bengal during its 34 years' tenure, he said: “In spite of such bad governance, the CPI(M) still managed to win successive elections, due to an election machinery created by it…but a new churning will take place in the State this time where people's voting pattern will change and the BJP stands a good chance to consolidate its votes.”

While the State unit of the BJP has already declared that it is talks with smaller parties to forge an alliance or decide on seta adjustment, Mr. Jaitley said that talks were on with both the Janata Dal (United) and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for the purpose.


New faces galore in West Bengal Left list March 13, 2011