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Desi G-8
8 regional parties form front
Ramesh Kandula
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, June 6
A motley group of eight regional parties today launched a new front as an alternative to the Congress and the BJP at the national level, while keeping the doors open for a tie-up with the Left parties.

“It will be a viable, closely-knit national alternative to the Congress and the BJP. Many more parties are expected to join us,” AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa announced at a crowded press conference here after a three-hour long conclave of the regional parties hosted by TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu.

The name and organisational structure of the new formation would be decided at the next meeting of the regional party leaders to be held at Chennai, she said, adding that the date would be announced shortly.

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, his colleague Amar Singh, Brindavan Goswami (Asom Gana Parishad), Om Prakash Chautala (INLD), Babulal Marandi (Jharkhand Vikas Morcha) and Vaiko (MDMK) attended the meeting held at Naidu’s Jubilee Hills residence. While K.J. Thomas of the Kerala Congress sent a letter of support.

The conclave deferred a decision on the stand to be taken on the Presidential election. The regional grouping would finalise its stand at its next meeting in Chennai.

Asked whether Left parties would join the new front, Jayalalithaa quipped, “It entirely depends on them”. She said the new political formation would be “open to all secular parties interested in nation building”.

The idea was first mooted during an informal meeting between some of the regional parties at Allahabad, where they had participated in the election campaign for the SP.

“Today, we are more in number and the next time when we meet in Chennai the number will grow further,” the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said.

Naidu, who took the initiative to bring regional parties on a common platform, said the new front would work on the basis of an alternative economic policy.

Asked whether the Left parties would also be associated with it, he said “You have to ask them about it”. The meeting also deliberated on the need for an alternative economic policy as the “skewed and wrong policies” of the UPA government were burdening the common man.

It also condemned the Indo-US nuclear deal as being “detrimental” to the national interests.

On special economic zones (SEZs), the regional satraps felt that in future the state governments should not acquire lands on behalf of industrialists but the matter should be left to the promoters to enter into deals with local farmers.

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