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Third bloc: 11 non-Congress, non-BJP parties join hands
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
Eleven parties outside the Congress and the BJP-led formations on Wednesday announced the formation of a ‘bloc’ in a step towards an alternative national political platform. With this, the parties look to make a splash in Parliament's last session before the Lok Sabha election.

Spearheaded by the four Left parties with support from the Samajwadi Party, JD(S), JD(U), AIADMK, BJD, and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, the parties promised to work in close coordination in the brief winter session, which resumed today and is scheduled to end on February 21.

After a meeting in Parliament House, JD (U) president Sharad Yadav described the move as the first formal step after the parties came together last October against communalism and to protect federalism. The October session was attended by Manpreet Badal’s Punjab Peoples' Party, which does not have a representative in Parliament. He said these parties would go ahead and draft a common programme.

CPM Parliamentary Party leader Sitaram Yechury said these parties would work together in Parliament and raise issues concerning people in an effective manner. “We want a proper discussion on all issues, including anti-corruption Bills, to which the government has now woken up. We won’t allow the passage of Bills without discussion as the ruling party (read Congress) could utilise it to launch its election agenda.”

Former Prime Minister and JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda criticised the media for ignoring regional parties. He said neither the Congress nor the BJP could solve the country’s problems on their own. He also scotched speculation of his son hobnobbing with either party. “If the father is here, the son is here,” he said.

Responding to the presence of the Samajwadi Party, which supports the Congress-led UPA and has in the past walked out of such an arrangement, in the formation, Yechury and CPI's Gurudas Dasgupta said history did not necessarily repeat itself. “This is the beginning of a journey and would soon take definite shape... Indian democracy is not bi-partisan,” Dasgupta said.

The players

  • The bloc is spearheaded by the four Left parties with active support from the SP, JD(S), JD(U), AIADMK, BJD, and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha
  • JD(U) president Sharad Yadav said this was the "first step" after the parties came together last October against growing communalism
  • When questioned on the bloc’s constituents (read SP) that have a history of 'ditching' each other, CPI's Gurudas Dasgupta said history doesn’t necessarily repeat itself





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