I don’t think there is a Third Front: Advani

I don’t think there is a Third Front: Advani
PTI
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First Published: Tue, Mar 31 2009. 12 01 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Mar 31 2009. 12 01 PM IST
New Delhi: Arguing that the mere presence of political parties which are neither with UPA nor NDA does not mean there is a Third Front, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani says many of these regional parties would join NDA if it is in a position to form a government.
“The mere presence of political parties other than those which are with the Congress or the BJP does not mean there is a Third Front. I don’t think a Third Front exists,” Advani said in an interview.
Advani said for most of these parties — like the Left, TDP, TRS, BJD and JD(S) which call themselves the Third Front — Congress was the main political opponent in the states where they had a strong presence.
The former Deputy Prime Minister said some of the regional parties did not want to ally with BJP-led NDA before the elections. “These parties fear that if they join the BJP alliance Muslims will not vote for them. But JD(U) is one example where it did not lose Muslim votes,” he said.
Advani expressed confidence that such parties would join the NDA after the elections but refused to name them.
“The BJP has made India a bi-polar polity by ending Congress monopoly. Though I cannot say India has a two-party system, it is definitely not multi-polar,” Advani said.
On the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD — which left the NDA a few weeks ago and is now with the Third Front — Advani said, “I regret the separation as it was due to some misunderstandings but I am sure these will be sorted out after the polls.” He said the BJD broke-off from BJP thinking it could come to power on its own.
Advani said TDP was never a part of the NDA. “In 2004, it gave outside support to our government after the polls. Our only understanding was that the Lok Sabha Speaker would be theirs,” he said.
Advani said BJP supported the TRS demand for carving out a separate state of Telengana from Andhra Pradesh.
The veteran leader said the formation of an alliance by RJD, LJP and SP in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar would harm the Congress.
When asked if he felt that RJD and SP may again join the Congress after the elections, Advani said even if this were to happen the immediate concern for the Congress was the damage these two would bring to it in the Lok Sabha polls.
“The UPA is withering away,” he said.
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First Published: Tue, Mar 31 2009. 12 01 PM IST
More Topics: India Votes 09 | Advani | BJP | Third Front | NDA |