“Third Front is the only alternative”

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Jyoti Basu
Jyoti Basu

Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: The “Third Front” is the only alternative in today’s national political scenario; if it is in a position to form a government at the Centre after the coming Lok Sabha polls the Communist Party of India (Marxist) could consider joining it, the patriarch of Left politics, Jyoti Basu, said here on Tuesday.

“From what I understand, the third morcha, the Third Front, is the only alternative. If it sets up a government at the Centre then as far as I perceive [things] we perhaps can join it,” he told journalists at his residence in Salt Lake after launching a website of the CPI(M)’s candidate from the Jadavpur constituency, Sujan Chakravarty.

“It is very difficult to form a Third Front … but the Third Front is the only alternative,” the veteran Marxist leader, however, added.

On the question of his party joining such a government at the Centre, Mr. Basu said: “Earlier we could not [join the government]. But this time we possibly can.”

‘Historic blunder’

Mr. Basu had, following a decision by the CPI(M) leadership, declined the offer of Prime Minister despite being a consensus candidate for the office when the United Front had assumed power at the Centre in 1996. He had subsequently described the decision as “a historic blunder.”

Hopeful of victory

“Whatever may be the case I am hopeful of victory [for candidates of the Left Front],” Mr. Basu said.

On previous occasions “we had never ever thought of a Third Front.” “But now I think it is necessary and we can possibly join it [a Third Front government at the Centre],” he reiterated.

“Let us hope that is the way the elections in the different States go [will decide],” Mr. Basu added.

Asked whether or not his party will join an alternative government at the Centre, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said in New Delhi on Monday that the party’s central committee would take a decision if such a situation arose.

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