Some even consider Third Front to be an opportunistic alliance or a group of highly ambitious leaders with the aspirations of becoming the country’s Prime Minister. The likes of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati seem to be justifying this stand.

Moreover, one cannot deny the fact the Third Front governments have been a failure so far. The governments led by VP Singh and Chandrashekhar collapsed within a few months. The governments of Deve Gowda and IK Gujral also did not last long.

The contentious issue of a separate Telangana state may be to some extent in favour of the Third Front as parties like YSR Congress Party, Karunanidhi’s DMK and Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK may show some inclination towards this non-Congress and non-BJP alliance.  But if we go by the other side of the story, one should not doubt the credibility of Third Front. Naveen Patnaik has led a successful government in Odisha and so has Mulayam and Mayawati in India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh.

The possibility of Third Front forming government in Delhi will be possible only if the BJP, presently banking on Modi’s growing popularity, fails to impress and the Congress is relegated to the third spot.

Intensifying the efforts to give a  concrete shape to the Left Force, top leaders of the Janata Dal (United), Left and Janata Dal (Secular) had recently met in New Delhi and decided to convene a meeting of 11 parties after the end of the current Parliament session to give a concrete shape to a non-Congress and non-BJP alliance.  

The breakfast meeting, which was held at former prime minister HD Deve Gowda’s residence, was attended by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, CPI veteran A B Bardhan and Forward Bloc general secretary Debabrata Biswas.
Sources said that one or two common public rallies may be held to give the message of unity of a non-Congress, non-BJP force in the next general elections but the plans will concretize only after the meeting of leaders of the 11 parties after the session.

In contrast to the Left parties, some of the regional parties whose leaders have prime ministerial ambitions are also looking forward to the Third Front. Mulayam has repeatedly been asserting that the next government would be formed by the Third Front.

CPI-ML general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya has also begun batting for a Third Front.

“Only a coalition of all Left parties can effectively constitute a viable alternative as third front," he said.

Union Minister and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah had claimed the Third Front will emerge only after the elections. Once the election is over and seat numbers are there, then only one will come to a conclusion, whether that is possible and who will lead the third front," he added.

Modi, who had so far been critical of the Gandhi family and UPA, has mocked the Third Front and alleged that its job is to save the Congress.  

Third Front critical of Modi

Leaders of the Left parties have also been targetting Modi in the recent days. CPI-M veteran Prakash Karat has said bringing Modi to power at the Centre and implementing his Gujarat model of development would only encourage capitalism and communalism.

Claiming that only a Left-led secular alternative can provide the right type of governance which could benefit the masses, he said anti-Congress and anti-BJP secular parties would present alternative policies after the present session of Parliament gets over.

As efforts to forge a non-BJP, non-Congress front before the Lok Sabha polls gain momentum, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury had earlier stated that people are looking for a viable alternative, which has policies to provide them relief and not a one cobbled up just for ensuring majority.

"What we have been saying all along is that people are looking for relief. They want relief from burdens that are being imposed on them. They are disgusted in the manner in which public resources are being looted, they are fed up with rampant corruption. They are looking for an alternative," he said.

Modi frontrunner for PM’s post

Opinion poll surveys released so far have shown an inclination towards the BJP with Narendra Modi leading the race for the Prime Minister’s post. The surveys have given an edge to the BJP and put the Congress on backfoot.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) could win as many as between 211 to 231 seats in the Lok Sabha polls, while the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) that has been in power for two consecutive terms under Manmohan Singh’s leadership appears headed for a rout, predicted to win only around 130 seats.

As per the surveys, regional players like the AIADMK, the TDP, the TRS and the BJD are likely to bag over combined 50 seats.

If we go by the surveys, the combination of the Left forces would in fact pose a challenge to Modi’s Delhi ambitions.

The Left Front, led by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), is an alliance of Indian left-wing parties. It was swept away from power in 2011 elections, after a 34-year reign in West Bengal.  It had formed the government in the 10th Tripura Assembly after being re-elected in 2008. The Left Front had won 46 of the 60 seats in the 2008 election.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) emerged from a split from the Communist Party of India in 1964.

The strength of CPI (M) is concentrated in the states of Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura. As of 2013, CPI (M) is leading the state government in Tripura. It also leads the Left Front coalition of leftist parties.


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