In Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, SP President Akhilesh Yadav and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee have talked about forming a third front in the country. This is also the first U-turn of Mamta Banerjee, who announced to contest the election alone. Banerjee had said in a rally a few days ago that Congress and BJP are the same, so we will walk on different paths.
After the meeting at CM residence in Kolkata on Friday, Akhilesh Yadav said that together with Didi, he will defeat BJP in 2024. Mamta Banerjee will meet Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal chief Naveen Patnaik on March 23 to strengthen the Third Front.
It has been announced to form this new front at a time when the budget session of the Parliament is going on. The effect of the new front is also visible. Sudip Bandyopadhyay, leader of the Trinamool parliamentary party in the Lok Sabha, said that the BJP wants Rahul Gandhi to become the face of the opposition, so that victory can be achieved easily. By using the Congress, the BJP is not even allowing the Parliament to function.
Bandyopadhyay further said that the Congress calls all parties the B team of the BJP, whereas it is the C team of the BJP. Congress is not able to decide on time but considers itself the big boss of the opposition. Many regional parties of the country have the power to defeat BJP. Mamta Banerjee will work to bring all of them on one platform.
Efforts to bring 5 parties together, there will be direct contest on 200 seats
Mamta Banerjee’s effort is to bring together those 6 parties, which have kept distance from both Congress and BJP. Trinamool Congress wants to bring together Aam Aadmi Party, Bharatiya Rashtra Samiti, Biju Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal Secular in the new front.
The Trinamool Congress dominates 42 seats in West Bengal, while the SP will contest all 80 seats in UP. Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi can directly compete with BJP on 17 seats in Telangana. AAP is strong in 20 seats in Punjab and Delhi. At the same time, JDS is preparing to contest elections on 28 seats in Karnataka.
If all these parties contest the elections together, then there can be a direct contest with the BJP on 200 seats in the Lok Sabha. In the last election, these parties had won about 50 seats.
Why was Congress thrown out of the alliance against BJP?
Breaking the alliance with BJP in 2022, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced that without Congress no alliance would be successful in front of BJP. Mamta Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav claim to fight strongly against BJP. Despite this, it has decided not to include Congress in its front. What is the reason after all?
1. Congress’s demand for seats is high- The Congress has very little mass base in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha. Congress has only 4 seats in these states. Despite this, the demand for the party is very high.
At the time of seat distribution, the Congress starts giving the argument of being a national party. In 2017, Akhilesh Yadav had given more seats to the Congress in the alliance. In Bihar too, Congress had taken more seats than RJD in 2020 elections.
Despite taking the Congress seat, it is not able to perform well. The organization of the party is very weak in Bengal and UP. In such a situation, SP and Trinamool do not want to keep Congress in their alliance.
2. The pattern of taking late decision has not changed- It has been more than 4 months since the change of president in the Congress, but the work of organization in the party has not been completed yet. In Bengal and UP, the chairman has not been appointed in many districts.
Apart from this, the opposition parties had asked the Congress to start talks regarding the alliance, but the Congress has not been able to take the initiative till now. On the contrary, the Congress is busy calling the opposition parties the B team of the BJP.
Mamta Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav are said to be very angry with this attitude of the Congress. This is the reason why Congress has not been included in the third front exercise.
3. Rar continues regarding the face- Trinamool Congress and SP said that Mamta Banerjee should be declared the face of the opposition against Prime Minister Modi. Trinamool Congress argued that Mamta Banerjee has a lot of experience in state and central politics.
Trinamool and other parties were raising the demand to declare the face that the Congress declared Rahul Gandhi as the face. Congress leader Kamal Nath said that only Rahul Gandhi would be able to compete with the Prime Minister in 2024.
This statement of Kamal Nath created a stir in the opposition camp. The Congress high command did not even refute Kamal Nath’s statement. In such a situation, parties like Mamta Banerjee and SP started trying to form a separate front from Congress.
4 experiments in 14 years, but all failed
Before every election, the wind of forming a third front starts in the country, but it does not last for long. In 2009, being angry with the Congress, the CPM formed a third front. This front was formed on the lines of 1996, but the front could not be successful.
In the last 14 years, there has been an attempt to form a new front 4 times, but every time this experiment has proved to be a failure.
1. In 2009, CPM, BSP, CPI, Forward Block, Telugu Desam Party, Janata Dal Secular, TRS, RSP and Bhajan Lal’s party Haryana Janhit together formed the Third Front.
Nine parties fielded candidates for 302 seats in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Haryana. However, the Third Front did not get success in the elections.
The parties involved in the Third Front won only 58 seats in the Lok Sabha. The BSP won maximum 21 seats, which later extended outside support to the UPA. After the defeat, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat blamed the defeat on the parties involved in the alliance.
2. In 2014, the exercise to form a third front started again. CPM and AIADMK entered into an agreement, after which several parties announced to fight together and then form a coalition government.
Except Odisha and Tamil Nadu, the parties involved in the Third Front lost badly in their respective states. Narendra Modi Under the leadership of BJP formed the government with full majority.
The AIADMK, engaged in the exercise of the third front, later joined the NDA. BJD parted ways. CPM remained confined to Kerala.
3. After coming together with Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad in 2015, the talk of forming a new front again started across the country. This time Nitish Kumar called the Morcha a Grand Alliance. Initially, Mulayam Singh Yadav, the then supremo of SP, was made its head.
In this Grand Alliance, leaders from Janata Party came on one platform. It was believed that with the formation of Grand Alliance, BJP would get a strong rival in Bihar, UP and Haryana. There are a total of 130 Lok Sabha seats in these states.
However, this front was broken within a few days. Angered by getting 5 seats in Bihar elections 2015, Mulayam Singh separated himself from the Grand Alliance. An attempt was made to persuade Mulayam, but he did not agree. Later JDU and RJD along with Congress decided to contest elections.
4. Before the 2019 elections, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao started the exercise of forming a front. KCR went and met many regional parties for this. Mamta Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik had also given consent.
CPM and Stalin’s party DMK opposed it. Stalin argued that the BJP cannot be defeated in the country without the Congress. He appealed and said that all the parties should stay with the Congress.
Seeing the breaking of the Third Front, the SP announced the formation of a separate alliance. SP, BSP and RLD were included in this. This alliance contested on 78 seats in UP. The alliance won 15 seats.
The third front will be formed but the path is not easy
1. No strategy to stop loss from Congress- SP in UP and Trinamool Congress in West Bengal is a bigger party than BJP. If the third front is formed, BJP will have to fight directly with these regional parties on about 200 seats.
But the problem in front of these parties is that of the Congress. Congress also has a small mass base in Bengal, UP and Telangana. In many seats, the party had performed well in the last election. In such a situation, the tension of the parties involved in the third front may increase on these seats.
2. Lack of credibility, not even an ideological match- Akhilesh Yadav has tied up with more than 5 parties in the last 6 years. The names of Congress and BSP are also included in these. There is a lack of credibility within these parties regarding the alliance.
Rahul Gandhi had said in a press conference that the regional parties do not have any ideology of their own to defeat the BJP. Mamta Banerjee has been in alliance with BJP in 1998-2004.