Non-Cong, non-BJP front on Feb 25: Karat

Reboot: CPM leader says Kejriwal is welcome to join

New Delhi | Published: February 18, 2014 1:20:48 am

The  meeting of 11 non-Congress, non-BJP parties in Delhi next week will announce the formation of a common front as an alternative to the two main contenders for power in the Lok Sabha elections.

The parties are set to make a “joint declaration” and also give their front a name when they meet on February 25.

CPM general secretary Prakash Karat, the moving force behind this front, said if the Aam Aadmi Party is “interested…they could also find a place” in it. At the same time, he also said AAP is a “Delhi phenomenon”.

“We treat AAP as a non-Congress, non-BJP party. If they are interested, they could find place in this non-Congress, non-BJP formation. But they seem to consider themselves to be the only pure and honest political party in the country,” Karat said.
“Aam Aadmi Party is a Delhi phenomenon. I don’t think it will have any national impact. What they have been talking about, the Communist parties have always been talking about.”

The parties that would be a part of the front include the CPM, CPI, Samajwadi Party, AIADMK, JD(U), JD(S), BJD, RSP, Forward Bloc, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha and Asom Gana Parishad. The People’s Party of Punjab and Republican Party (Ambedkar) are likely to join later.

Together, these parties account for 90 seats in the current Lok Sabha. While pre-poll surveys see a big jump in the BJP’s tally in the next Lok Sabha, the so-called third front parties have also been predicted to gain considerably.

“Eleven parties will hold consultations on 25th of February. We will discuss and announce our decision to jointly project an alternative to the Congress and the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections. We shall present our combination as an alternative. We will issue a joint declaration,” Karat said in an interview to The Indian Express Monday.

Asked if constituents of this front would have seat-sharing talks, he said, “The nature of alliance is more of a federal character. Most of the constituents are regional parties with a base in their own states. We will pool all our resources together at the national level. We will help, support one another with all our resources.”

Karat said the nomenclature of the new front — whether federal front or something else — would be decided on February 25.

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