In a last ditch attempt to form a Third Front for combatting the UPA and NDA, Andhra Pradesh chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu reached Lucknow in order to hold talks with the major political players in the region.
The leader of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) met former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati to brainstorm and see if an alliance was possible. As both these parties have refused to join either the UPA or the NDA until the day of the results, Naidu was quite hopeful that something could be worked out.
The origin of the Idea of a Third Front
The idea of a Third Front was initially put forward by several regional leaders and politicians, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, and West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee. The intention was to put together a group of people who did not wish to ally with either of the major national parties. However, the idea failed due to a lack of leadership and initiative. However, now that all 7 phases have been concluded, Sonia Gandhi had reached out to SP and BSP in Uttar Pradesh, trying to see if they were interested in a coalition at the state level. However, the two regional parties have a huge stronghold over their vote bank, and they are quite reluctant to dilute their power by joining up with a national party.
Naidu says ready to ally with any non-BJP party
Chandrababu Naidu has said that he welcomes any non-BJP party to form a coalition party with them, and even if regional parties do not wish to form coalitions with national parties like the Indian National Congress, he will still continue to propagate his idea of a Third Front. In accordance with this, he recently met Arvind Kejriwal, and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
Impact of this meeting on elections is uncertain
The meet of the trio, right before the polling of UP’s last 13 seats, points towards the fact that though all parties are anticipating a BJP win, they are doing all in their power to either beat that majority, or put up a strong enough oppositional front that they cannot be easily ignored and sidelined. In case the BJP alone falls short of the requisite 272 mark, a coalition of these parties will be in a very strong demanding position as kingmaker.