The Samajwadi Party (SP), which lends support from outside to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), on Friday got together with the Left parties and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to demand a judicial probe into the allocation of coal blocks and the cancellation of licences.
Unwilling to be described as the Third Front, the leaders, however, said the parties would continue to be together in the future, but left it to the people to understand the new arrangement.
As many as 30 Members of Parliament of these political parties, including the SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, staged a dharna at the main entrance of Parliament. The others were MPs from the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Forward Block and the TDP. They claimed to have support from eight parties to their demand, but didn’t divulge the names of these parties.
The MPs included Mr. Yadav, CPI leaders Gurudas Dasgupta and D. Raja; CPI (M)’s Sitaram Yechury and TDP’s Nama Nageshwara Rao.
These leaders had met on Thursday in the backdrop of disruption of Parliament business for almost two weeks, with the BJP continuing to insist on the Prime Minister’s resignation.
Asserting that Parliament should be allowed to function, the protesting MPs said if their demands weren’t met, they would launch a countrywide agitation.
Talking to reporters after the dharna, Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav said their demand was that a sitting Supreme Court judge or the CBI should inquire into the scandal. “If they don’t order a probe, we will fight at the national level and go to the people on the issue,” he said.
“We want the coal block licences to be cancelled; there should be a discussion on the issue in Parliament,” Mr. Yadav said.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said: “Both the BJP and the Congress want to avoid a discussion because they don’t want it. If there is no discussion, many of their secrets will remain safe. If a debate is held, many skeletons will tumble out of the cupboard.”
On being asked if Mr. Yadav could be a trusted ally, he said: “That is why we are saying that only time will tell what will happen in the future.”
CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said corruption and efforts to destroy Parliamentary democracy had to be fought in a united manner.
Nama Nageshwara Rao, TDP leader, alleged that both the Congress and the BJP were involved in the “loot” of iron ore in Karnataka.