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Third Front the 'biggest mirage' : Congress

Source: PTI
Last updated on: March 12, 2009 20:00 IST
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Terming the Third Front as the "biggest mirage" of Indian politics, the Congress on Thursday said whenever the grouping has resurrected, it has only helped the communal forces.

"Third front is the biggest mirage of Indian politics. This is such a ghost which appears every time in two or three years and then disappears", party spokesman Manish Tewari told media persons in New Delhi.

The comments by the Congress came within hours after the Left and non-Congress and non-BJP parties launched the 'Third force' at Tumkur in Karnataka, claiming they have come together to provide a "new alternative" to the voters ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

"Whenever the political parties, which call themselves the Third Front come together, it only benefits the communal forces," Tewari said. "From 1998 onwards, there has been polarisation between the secular and communal forces. The reason is the failure of the Third Front government from 1996 to 1998," the Congress leader said.

According to him, Third Front is nothing but only a conglomeration of regional parties.

Appealing to people not to be misled by the Third Front, Tewari said, "When the NDA is getting demolished and the UPA is gaining influence, the attempt to form the Third Front would help the communal forces directly."

Tewari said the foundations of secularism have been strengthened under the UPA and this will continue. "Third Front will not succeed as everyone wants to be the prime minister. And then everyone will come back to either UPA or NDA," Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

Cannot ignore Third Front if UPA fails to get majority: Pawar

Meanwhile, the Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar on Thursday said the grouping cannot be ignored if the ruling United Progressive Alliance fails to muster a majority in the Lok Sabha polls.

"If we do not get majority, we will have to talk to the third front," Pawar, whose NCP is a key constituent of the ruling UPA, told CNN-IBN. He said the Left parties were an important part of the Third Front as they have about 40 to 50 members in the Lok Sabha.

Pawar did not rule out the Samajwadi Party being a member of the Third Front. "This group of 80 to 100 MPs cannot be ignored," Pawar said.

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