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Third Front a mistake: Yechury
Says Left parties lost touch with ground realities
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
It is finally dawning on the CPM leadership that it has lost touch with the masses and that the Third Front formed due to the initiatives of party boss Prakash Karat was neither viable nor credible.

In an interview to Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN’s ‘Devil’s Advocate’ programme, senior CPM leader Sitaram Yechuri admitted that the Left parties had suffered humiliating reverses in the Lok Sabha polls as they were not in tune with ground realities.

“This is the worst debacle we have had. This is a serious matter and we have to understand why this happened and seriously introspect,” he said. His comments came amid voices of dissent being raised in party circles over the style of functioning of Karat.

Asked if Karat would resign owning responsibility for the defeat, Yechury did not give a straight reply and said: "Resignation is an escape from responsibility. We will collectively assess (the reasons for the debacle)." He, however, agreed that the top leadership would have to take up a leadership role.

"A serious, honest, self-critical review of all the issues will be done," said Yechury, who still maintains good relations with several Congress leaders. The warmth with which Rahul Gandhi met him at the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday is still the talk of the town.

He said the issue of alleged leadership failure would also be discussed. "The process has already begun and by middle of June we will come to a conclusion." The Central Committee of the CPM would be meeting in June to analyse the causes for the debacle

"You cannot escape the reality that this is a big debacle for the party. This is the first time in the last two decades that a secular government is being formed without the role of the CPM," he said.

On the Third Front, which collapsed like a house of cards after the UPA’s handsome win in the elections, Yechury explained that people did not find it as a national alternative to both the UPA and the NDA.

“The CPM always had this opinion, which we still continue to have, that India requires a third political alternative.

This third political alternative will have to bring about a shift in the policy trajectory in the country. But that cannot be a cut-and-paste job on the ever of the elections.’’

Asked whether veteran Marxist Jyoti Basu had advised against breaking ties with the UPA, Yechury said he might have had his opinions which were raised in party committees, "but there is no advice that has come to us."

On severe criticism of the CPM by a number of Left party leaders blaming central leadership and decision to forge a Third Front, he said these views would also be considered in the review.

Asked whether prospect of projection of Mayawati as prime ministerial candidate let a number of people off, he said the question was not of stability alone. "They (people) wanted stability with a commitment to the secular democratic foundations of India."

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