Naveen Patnaik favours Federal Front idea
New Delhi: Ruling out any truck with either Congress or BJP, Odisha Chief Minister and BJD President Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday indicated that he was open to joining a Third Front or a Federal Front of regional parties before the Lok Sabha elections.
He was non-committal on whether Left parties could be part of such a grouping.
"I think it will be a healthy thing for the country to have a Federal Front or a Third Front," he told PTI in an interview here.
He was asked about the suggestion made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that regional parties should get together to form a `Federal Front` to provide an alternative to Congress and BJP.
When referred to the contention of Congress and BJP that a Third Front cannot work in the country, he rejected such a perception.
"It has not happened as yet. But, as I said, if it does, it will be a healthy thing to happen."
Patnaik, the BJD President who had severed ties with BJP in 2009 just ahead of last elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assembly, made it clear that his party will maintain equi-distance from both BJP and Congress.
He did not rule out the possibility of associating with TMC, Samajwadi Party and AIADMK to build a third alternative.
Queried whether Left parties could be in that formation, he said "we have to see".
Asked when such a formation could take shape and whether efforts were already being made in this regard, he merely said "I think its early days yet".
When pointed out that Lok Sabha elections as well as the state assembly in Odisha polls are not too far away, Patnaik said "let us see. Things move quite quickly when the elections (approach).
Asked who possibly could be the leader of a third front, the BJD chief said "I think it`s too early to say, the future will tell." He, however, ruled himself out as a potential Prime Ministerial candidate.
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