The former CPI general secretary, A.B. Bardhan, on Sunday said it was a “mistake” on the part of a group of non-UPA and non-NDA parties to try and create a third front before the elections.
In an interview to CNN-IBN’s Karan Thapar, Mr. Bardhan said he was opposed to the idea of crafting an alternative front ahead of the general election as working out seat arrangements with so many parties was a tall order.
The CPI(M) and the CPI, which forged an electoral alliance with the AIADMK, were forced to call it off after the ruling party in Tamil Nadu declined to offer them more than one seat each.
Mr. Bardhan said developments, such as the one in Tamil Nadu that led to media headlines pronouncing the third front a failure just days after it was set up, were “embarrassing.”
Expressing disappointment at the behaviour of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, the veteran leader said he felt “slighted” by her offer. He repeatedly pointed out that Ms. Jayalalithaa was the one who approached the Left and she was the one who announced they had an alliance.
Asked about the BJD headed by Naveen Patnaik, with whom the CPI had a seat sharing arrangement in 2009 but not this time round, Mr. Bardhan said his party was not keen on continuing the relationship due to the numerous differences the two parties had on several issues, such as Posco and other mining concerns.
Taking exception to JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav’s comment that the third front was just a “a qawwali” and should not be taken seriously, Mr. Bardhan hit back by calling Mr. Yadav “a humorist” and “a qawal.”
Mr. Bardhan said the CPI(M) should have been accommodating of the RSP in Kerala. Not to accommodate the RSP, he adds, was a mistake. He said that he wrote to the CPI(M) and advised them to accommodate the RSP but by then it was too late.
He insisted that the Left Parties collectively will get at least 32 seats in the forthcoming election. However, he seemed uncertain on whether the regional parties will try and cobble up an alternative front. It entirely on how the parties do, as well as how the Congress and the BJP perform, he said.
On the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the veteran left leader dubbed him as “divisive” and “authoritarian” and will not accept that, as things stand, he is the front runner and most likely person to be Prime Minister. All he accepts is that BJP will get more seats than Congress.