Third Front or Facade?

How many Third Fronts will we have? Promiscuous political relationships are not likely to last simply because they are not meant to.

What do Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav, Naveen Patnaik, Deve Gowda, Om Prakash Chautala and Mulayam Singh Yadav have in common? Does the need to “form this anti-Congress, anti-Modi block” suffice? The BJP also wants a “Congress-mukt (free) Bharat” and the Congress does not want a “communal” party. Therefore, each can qualify as a Third Front if the idea is to oppose a bloc.

It is worrying that parties are coming together at this stage, for the stakes for horse-trading are high now. Rather than an anti-anything move, it appears to be one garnered to make themselves relevant. Many of them have been made irrelevant or have been snubbed. The CPI may not have high ambitions, but it is on the list of all these parties for an alliance. It has already tied up with the AIADMK.

Jayalaitha stated: “AIADMK and CPI have decided to enter into an alliance to face the upcoming Lok Sabha elections together.” Therefore, how would they dethrone Congress to form a “secular and democratic alternative” when the alliance itself if purely electoral?

Nitish Kumar had said, “It’s not exactly a merger of parties, but we can federate these parties.” Given that all of them have only a regional presence, how would they federate? What role would Odisha have in Bihar or UP in Haryana? How much of a presence do these parties have in states where the Congress or BJP are ruling? For that matter, do they even count in Delhi where AAP is holding fort?

Nobody quite knows what such a tie-up entails. Are these alliances designed for the Centre should the results be skewed? Who all would jump in and what happens to the different manifestoes and ideologies of the parties? How many ambitions will they have to deal with?

A small detail has been ignored. The Congress government is a UPA government formed with people like them. The BJP too had ruled as the NDA. Instead of working against the two big parties, the Third Front will in fact give them an opening to pick and choose based on their stated objectives. Did not AAP, which started as pretty much a Third Front prototype, without alliances, end up with ‘support’ from the Congress? Recall the Anna Movement hobnobbing with rightwing parties. What came of it?

There will be more middlemen who will help these alliances for their own ‘cuts’. The Third Front will be fractioned into many smaller groupings and some of these fighters will emerge as victors after joining forces with those they started out opposing.

© Farzana Versey


  1. FV,

    What else did you think would happen?

    Before any poll, overnight creation of a motley Third Front is as predictable an occurence as coming into effect of the model code of conduct, except that it is meaningless.

    Was this post really required?

  2. I have issues with a Third Front at this stage, not horse-trading and convenient alliances. A Third Front has different ideological compulsions, or should.

    {Was this post really required?}

    I guess so, considering you commented. It has not gone to waste.

  3. F&F:

    Breaking! Modi in Kolkata said, "Third Front will make India Third Grade and we need to reject them forever." http://www.narendramodi.in/liveevent/social/index.html

    I got there before. Now talk about whether it was necessary :-)

  4. FV,

    1. He is a politician and thus entitled to play politics of his choosing. Freelance journalists, I believe, flaunt a different code of conduct. I am open to corrections though. :)

    2. I am not unhappy to note that you too feel the third front should be rejected forever.

  5. third front have leaders have regional interests and furthermore they don't one prime ministerial candidate - unity is impossible and so would be governance


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