Communist Party of India leader A B Bardhan said on Thursday that Third Front leaders are in touch with Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who severed ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party, to rope his party Biju Janata Dal into the coalition.
"We will leave it to Naveen Patnaik...what he does in Orissa. We are patient. We will give him time to join the Third Front. He is taking his time. Let him take his decision", Bardhan told a rally at Dobaspet where the Third Front was formally launched.
There were expectations in Third Front that BJD would send a representative to the rally but it was not to be. Bardhan said Third Front leaders, including Janata Dal-Secular supremo H D Deve Gowda and Telugu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu, are in touch with Patnaik. "We are very confident that he (Patnaik) will never go with Congress nor will he go with BJP", Bardhan said. "They (BJD) will find their way to us and they will be with us".
Referring to BJP stalwart L K Advani's statement that there can be only two fronts -- one led by BJP and the other by Congress, Bardhan said the BJP-led front itself has "receded far into the background" while some of the allies of Congress are offering it, particularly in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, low number of seats. "That's the fate of the so-called national party (Congress)", Bardhan added.