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Left, key regional parties launch the Third Front

By Vicky Nanjappa
Last updated on: March 12, 2009 18:23 IST
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An advertisement for the Third Front read, 'The Third Front is being launched, against the pro-rich economic policies of the national parties like the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, against the growth of communal and fascist forces and to remain determined and committed to the cause of the pro-farmer, pro-poor, pro-worker, pro-Other Backward Classes, pro-Dalit, pro-women, pro-minorities and pro-youth."

The much talked about launch of the Third Front finally took place at Dobbaspet, a small town 50 kilometres from Bengaluru on Thursday. Leaders of eight different political parties who were present at the rally spoke extensively about the pro-rich policies of the United Progressive Alliance and how the National Democratic Alliance had communally divided the nation exactly as they had advertised.

Former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular supermo H D Deve Gowda who lit the lamp and officially declared the formation of the Third Front said that they would come up with a manifesto soon and only then would they go house to house seeking the mandate of the people.

Gowda who took centrestage, spoke about the importance of the Third Front in order to keep both the Congress and the BJP at bay.

Gowda also said that there were speculations prior to this rally regarding the participation of the Bahujan Samaj Party. However the BSP supremo and chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati has sent Satish Mishra, a key person in the party and this has had an electrifying effect.

Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, delivered the longest address at the rally. He mocked the Congress led UPA and said that the only achievement of the Congress was to produceĀ  four out of the ten richest men in the world. The rich got super rich during the Congress regime, he said.

Karat said the the need of an alternate front at the Centre was absolutely necessary. He said that the Third Front stands for the interest of the vast mass of this country and it is important to bring them to power since successive governments have failed to fulfill the ambition of the people.

Karat also said that there is a need to have a federal system and added that there should not be centralisation of power in New Delhi.

Chandrababu Naidu of the Telegu Desam Party who delivered a short address before flying out of Karnataka in a private chopper said that there is no doubt that both the UPA and the NDA will be wiped out in the forthcoming elections. He said that the Third Front will come to power and he has no doubt about that. He also said that if the people voted for the UPA, the prices of commodities will only double.

The BSP and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam too were represented at the rally although their chiefs Mayawati and Jayalalithaa could not make it. The BSP was represented by Satish Mishra while the AIADMK was represented by Maitreyan. Both these leaders read out a message written by their respective supremos.

The others who spoke at the rally were A B Bardhan of the Communist Party of India, Chandrasekar Rao of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, H D Kumaraswamy and M C Nanaiah of the JD-S.

Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of Bhajan Lal, too was present at the rally. The Forward Bloc, and the Republican Party of India were also represented in the rally.

The rally got off to a slow start. At the beginning of the rally most chairs at the venue were empty. However the crowds started to pour in slowly and at the end of it there were over 50,000 people present at the venue.

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Vicky Nanjappa