Maintaining that there was ample political space in the country to accommodate non-Congress and non-BJP forces, senior CPI leader A.B.Bardhan on Saturday said there were many chief ministers among the 11 parties firming up to form a Third Front, who could be elevated as the Prime Minister after the Lok Sabha polls.

“In case these parties are able to get a majority in the Lok Sabha polls, there are many chief ministers among us and anyone of them could occupy the top post,” Mr.Bardhan told reporters in Bhopal. “After all, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is also only the Chief Minister of Gujarat,” he said.

Asked if AAP could also join this conglomeration of non-Congress and non-BJP parties, the former CPI general secretary said that it could do so as the party was also opposed to both the Congress and BJP.

“But that party has to take the final decision,” Mr.Bardhan said. Criticising the BJP for declaring Narendra Modi as its PM candidate much before the Lok Sabha elections, Mr.Bardhan said, “There is no provision for a Prime Minister in-waiting in the Indian Constitution.” On Mr.Modi’s credentials, he said that nobody can forget his role during the 2002 riots in Gujarat. “It does not matter if he had been given a clean chit by some probe agencies,” the CPI veteran said. Mr.Modi is such a person who can both be a liability as well as an asset for the BJP, he felt.

It was because of Mr.Modi that the Janata Dal (U) which had been an ally of the BJP in the NDA, parted ways from the combine, Mr.Bardhan said. About US softening its stand on Mr.Modi, Mr.Bardhan said he did not attach much importance to it. “I think this is a very trivial matter,” he said.

“The US has historically always supported all those who it thinks are opposed to the Left and its softening towards Mr.Modi must be seen in this context,” he added. On the resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as the Chief Minister of Delhi, he said, “I think that Mr.Kejriwal’s resignation had become inevitable.” He had made a large number of promises to people and fulfilling them had become very difficult because of which he chose to quit, Mr.Bardhan said.

On February 5, in indications of emergence of a Third Front in view of the Lok Sabha elections, 11 non-Congress, non-BJP parties had formally joined hands as a block in Parliament to pitch for pro-people, anti-communal and federal agenda. Following this, they recently met informally at the residence of JD(S) chief H.D.Deve Gowda in which it was decided that leaders of all these parties will soon hold discussions to give a concrete shape to the Third Front.