Leaders say the idea of a secular, democratic front is taking concrete shape

On a day when senior BJP leaders, including the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, and the Aam Aadmi Party dismissed the prospects of a third front, leaders of 11 parties came together to form a bloc for a joint floor strategy in Parliament.

The 11 parties are the Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (United), AIADMK, Asom Gana Parishad, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, Janata Dal (Secular), Biju Janata Dal and the four Left parties.

The presence of the SP that gives outside support to the UPA is considered significant. Party leader Ramgopal Yadav said their backing of the government was only issue-based.

“We are with the non-Congress, non-BJP front that is being formed and will go with it in Parliament on pro-people, anti-communal and federal agenda,” he said.

The leaders of the 11 parties, who met in Parliament House, indicated that the idea of a secular, democratic front was taking concrete shape.

Outside Parliament, the leaders would try and evolve a common strategy and programme. They have already indicated that individual parties can go in for seat arrangements in their respective states.

Besides former Prime Minister H. D. Deve Gowda, those who met reporters were Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Sharad Yadav, K. C. Tyagi (JD-U), M. Thambidurai (AIADMK), D. Raja (CPI), Jay Panda (BJD), Biren Baishya (AGP) and Ramgopal Yadav (SP), Manohar Tirkey (RSP) and Barun Mukherjee (Forward Bloc).

Mr. Sharad Yadav and Mr. Yechury described the joint floor strategy decision as “the first step” after the parties came together in October. The block has been set up primarily to raise issues affecting people in Parliament, Mr. Yechury said, adding that the new block would ensure that no bill is passed amid din.

Asked about the Congress attempt to get anti-corruption bills passed, Mr. Yechury said, “We have been raising the issues for a long time and want a debate on them but it is the prime responsibility of the ruling party to create conditions to have such a discu

“Today we saw that the Congress and even their ministers are at loggerheads over Telangana. They are divided and disrupting the House. They are actually helping communal forces. We will not allow the Congress to use this as a launching pad for elections,” the CPI (M) leader said.

The CPI’s Mr. Raja said: “By trying to bring crucial Bills at the fag end, the government is trying to hoodwink and use the legislations to launch their poll campaign. This is not an honest position.”

Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati dismissed the move for a third front as efforts by those parties who had lost their support base in their respective states.

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