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TMC pitches for federal front with no BJP links

It may just be a straw in the shifting political winds ahead of the 2014 polls,but it is a significant one.

Written by Subrata Nagchoudhury | Kolkata |
October 19, 2013 12:25:47 am

It may just be a straw in the shifting political winds ahead of the 2014 polls,but it is a significant one. In an article in the Trinamool Congress’s weekly mouthpiece,Jago Bangla,titled ‘The call for a federal front,a timely step’,party MP and veteran leader Prof Saugata Roy has written that the proposed front “will have regional parties as constituents who have no truck with the BJP”. Significantly,the article does not mention anything about links with the Congress.

“The Trinamool Congress,JD(U),BJD and AIADMK are in power,on their own strength,in their respective states and are in a position to win a good number of seats (in the Lok Sabha) on their individual strength,without depending on others. SP is in power in UP and BSP is the main opposition party,but both do not want to align with the BJP,” he writes,while remaining silent on ties with the Congress. According to him,TMC will win at least 32 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.

Earlier this year,TMC chief Mamata Banerjee had given the call for a federal front,around the time that the JD(U) walked out of the NDA as the BJP picked Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to lead its campaign.

“It is clear that Narendra Modi is a personality who creates political polarisation. BJP and RSS workers may be happy at his elevation,but at the same time it will result in diminishing the strength of NDA constituents… As a result,even if the BJP is able to increase its own share of seats,the NDA strength will not go up,” writes Roy.

“It is in this context that one has to seek the answers to the political formations in the post-2014 Lok Sabha polls,” writes Roy,adding that the third front will include TMC,JD(U),BJD,AIADMK,SP,BSP and TDP. “The YSR Congress may join later. Similarly,the TRS is also keen to join this front,” he writes,adding that while the writing on the wall is not very clear yet,the call for a federal front is a timely step.

“It is being said that the federal front will have a crisis of leadership. I do not think so. Because the leaders of most of the regional outfits are functioning as chief ministers and would not like to leave their seats. It is true that the federal front’s choice of a leader would have to be someone who would be able to tackle conflicting egos. To achieve this,the regional parties should start talking now and draft a common minimum programme,” writes Roy.

When contacted,Roy said he did not consult Mamata Banerjee before writing the article,but added that he had only enunciated the party’s stand. Asked about the anti-BJP line,Roy said the Congress may not emerge as a major force in 2014. He said the federal front,with about 230 seats,may form a government without the Congress and BJP.

Top TMC sources said articles published in the mouthpiece were cleared by Banerjee and the editorial board.

Former CPM MP Md Selim,however,pointed out that Roy is known as a “pro-Congress element within the TMC”. “I would rather say that the TMC is keeping all its options,including the BJP,open,” he said.

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