Political churning: Left leaders meet JD(U) chief, SP supremo

Last Updated: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 21:41

New Delhi: In the midst of churning in NDA, the Left parties on Friday waded into the scene for formation of a non-Congress, non-BJP front to fight the next Lok Sabha elections.

Senior CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury first met JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav in an apparent attempt to wean the party away from its rival Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress chief who has floated the idea of a Federal Front of regional parties.

CPI leader AB Bardhan, meanwhile, held separate meeting with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh.

Banerjee`s main rivals are the Left parties in West Bengal and she also has reservations in tying up with Samajwadi Party which ditched her in the Presidential polls last year after promising support to her candidate.

After the meeting between Yechury and Sharad Yadav, neither divulged what was discussed.

Yechury, however, said Left parties want unity of parties on the basis of alternative policies.

"What we want is alternative policies. Left parties have called a political convention on July one. It will discuss the alternative policy framework," Yechury told reporters after the 30-minute meeting with the NDA convenor.

Asked whether the Left would join a Third Front, he said it "depends upon the programme and policies" of such a platform. He, however, made it clear that there was "no such talk" (of third front) at the meeting.

Observing that nothing much should be made out of his meeting Yadav, Yechury said the JD(U) chief had invited him for dinner which he could not attend. "There is no politics ... We have been old friends."

Yechury earlier said an alternative to Congress and BJP was not possible "because it`s only the Left which gives the cohesion and programme for such an alternative."

Mulayam and Bardhan discussed the evolving political situation, with the CPI leader saying a non-Congress, non-BJP platform could be possible only after the elections, CPI sources said.

However, the two leaders felt the need to step up campaign on crucial issues affecting the people, they said.

Earlier, Bardhan opposed the idea of a Federal Front mooted by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying such a platform was neither feasible nor would it inspire people`s confidence.

Instead, a non-Congress, non-BJP coalition pursuing credible alternate policies on people`s issues would be accepted by the electors.

"The idea of a `Federal Front` floated by one or two chief ministers, which is supposed to bring together the chief ministers of states who have grievances against the step- motherly treatment meted out by the Congress-ruled Centre, is neither feasible nor likely to inspire confidence among the voters," Bardhan said.

Maintaining that people wanted a government whose policies were opposed to the `anti-people policies` being pursued by the UPA government, he said, "These policies have also the support of Opposition BJP which is now set on a strident communal course with the elevation of Narendra Modi."

He said that only a non-Congress, non-BJP coalition "which pursues credible alternate policies on people`s issues and which steers the country on a Left and democratic course is the need of the hour."

"Such a programme-based coalition government can emerge through struggles and may be after the polls. Only such a Front can provide a viable alternative to the present dispensation," the veteran leader said, adding that the Left parties were working towards that end.

PTI



First Published: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 16:28

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