March 29, 2009

UPA and NDA will lose partners after the polls: Buddhadeb

Kolkata, March 29: Both the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will lose partners after the Lok Sabha polls leading to the consolidation of the Third Front, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said Sunday.

“The efforts to cobble up a non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and non-Congress alternative will gain a more distinct shape in the post poll situation. Partners will come out of both the UPA and the NDA,” Bhattacharjee, a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader, said in an interview to his party’s mouthpiece Ganashakti.

“The new force that will see consolidation in that scenario must have a common minimum programme,” he added.Bhattacharjee said the leftists will have to play a role in such a situation. “We will perform our duty.”

The CPI-M politburo member felt the Third Front had become relevant now both in terms of its strength and number of constituents.“But this is not enough. We have to consolidate the front by holding discussions. The process has already started, and such dialogue will continue even after the polls.”

In an obvious reference to the Congress and the BJP ridiculing the Third Front for its large number of prime ministerial hopefuls, Bhattacharjee said adopting the right programme was the main pre-requisite for forming an alternative government.“The leftists are laying stress on drawing up such a programme, and not on any party or leader,” he said.

Bhattacharjee said the leftists will take a call on joining a Third Front government after reviewing the post-poll situation.He said the leftists’ main aim in the Lok Sabha elections is to form an alternative non-Congress and non-BJP government. He claimed that there was a distinct possibility of the leftists, and secular and democratic regional parties getting a majority.

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