New Delhi: With the political battle lines clearly drawn for the next Lok Sabha elections, the Left Front on Thursday asked Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to take the lead in forming a Third Front to challenge the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance.
During a protest rally taken out jointly by the Left Front and the Samajwadi Party in New Delhi on Thursday during Bharat bandh, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat said that Mulayam had a very crucial role to play as he was the leader of the biggest party in the Lok Sabha after the Congress and the BJP.
"Mulayam as the leader of the largest group should take the lead in this movement. Among our eight parties he should take the initiative, both inside and outside Parliament. He is the leader of the biggest party," said Karat.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury also hinted at a Third Front saying non-Congress and non-BJP parties should come together. "It is true that the people need a political alternative based on policies, an attempt is on in this direction. We want non-Congress and non-BJP political parties to come together based on policies to give a political alternative," Yechury said.
Karat and Yechury's statement indicated that the Left Front was also eyeing the formation of a new political front which could rival the Congress as well as the BJP led alliances.
Earlier, Mulayam warned the Centre that he would think of a political alternative unless the diesel price hike was withdrawn and foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail put on hold.
Speaking during the Bharat bandh, Mulayam said, "If the government does not roll back its decisions, then we will have to work to announce an alternative."
The Samajawadi Party chief on September 12 during his party's National Executive in Kolkata had challeged the UPA as well as the NDA, saying they would not be able to form the next government at the Centre without the support of smaller parties which are not part of their alliances. Making a pitch for a non-UPA, non-NDA Third Front, Mulayam urged his party workers to get ready for a larger role at the national level.
"The UPA is to be blamed for the economic turmoil in the country. And BJP as a party can never grow now. So now the Samajwadi Party has to take larger responsibility and take the nation forward," claimed Mulayam at his party's national executive in Kolkata, bastion of Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee who is a part of the Congress-led UPA.
Mulayam added that his party's responsibility is not confined to Uttar Pradesh, signalling that he is once again preparing to get in touch with non-UPA, non-NDA parties. The leader also said that his party is with all sections of the society. "We need to make the Samajwadi Party strong in other parts of the country."