General Elections: Left hints at emergence of an alternative combo
Hyderabad: Dismissing the formation of a Third Front, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said here on Saturday that about 10 non-Congress, non-BJP parties are willing to come together for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections to provide a viable alternative.
"There is no Front as such. Nobody has talked about a Third Front. What we are trying to bring about is a combination of the non-Congress, non-BJP parties. After the elections, whether we will give it some concrete shape, that will depend on the election results. But we will cooperate for the Lok Sabha elections. That is being worked out, how exactly we will cooperate," he told reporters here.
The non-Congress, non-BJP parties would announce a "common approach" on February 5, the first day of the coming Parliament session, as a precursor to the emergence of the alternative combination of parties, he said.
"One step in that is for this Parliament session, some of these parties are going to meet and announce on February 5, on the first day of Parliament, their common approach as far as the Parliament session is concerned.
"For example, UPA wants to push through many other legislations. We don`t think it is advisable. Because, normally the convention is the last session is only for an vote-on-account. But they want to bring in many other issues. On all those matters, these parties will announce a common stand," he said.
The AIADMK, JD(U), JD(S), BJD, Samajwadi Party and the Left are likely to be part of the non-Congress, non-BJP coalition, he said.
"Well, I have been out of Delhi for the last few days, I am travelling. I mentioned some of those parties. I said AIADMK, BJD, JD(U), Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (Secular) and the Left parties. Some of them together, I think, comes to 10 parties. There will be one or two more," he said.
The proposed coalition of parties is expected to present a set of alternative policies.
"As against the Congress and BJP, what policies they are propagating, what Narendra Modi has put out is a more extreme version of the neo-liberal policies being pursued by the UPA government," Karat said.
"When we are going to go for the elections, we will present our alternative policies and agenda," he said.
Observing that the Aam Admi Party (AAP) does not appear to be growing anywhere except in Delhi, Karat said the Arvind Kejriwal-led party is not a substitute for Left parties in the country.
"I don`t know where the AAP is growing except in Delhi. So, I have said this earlier, the AAP cannot be a substitute for the Left parties. In some states and some areas, may be they will be a substitute for other parties. But they cannot be a substitute for Left parties," he said.
Replying to a query, he said the CPI(M) has stood for "united Andhra Pradesh".
Noting that the TDP, the erstwhile ally of the Left for long, appeared to be heading towards the BJP, he said his party considered the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) as an "opposition, secular" party.
Asked if an understanding between the YSRCP and CPI(M) is possible, he said the issue would be discussed by the CPI(M) state committee and a final decision would be taken after the Parliament session came to an end.
"Our state committee is meeting today and tomorrow to discuss our electoral tactics to be pursued in Andhra Pradesh. As you know, in this parliament session, the question of bifurcation, the bill is there. It will be finally known what will happen to the issue of bifurcation.
"The state committee will discuss the tactics to be pursued for the elections. But the final decision will be taken by our party only after the parliament session and the result of this session is known," he said.
Asked how can the CPI(M) ally with YSR Congress, which is reportedly "regarded as a corrupt party", he said his party goes by a political party`s agenda, programmes and practices.