CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu today appeared doubtful on the Third Front's chances of coming to power, but said if it does succeed, the Left party may join the government.
"It is very difficult to form a Third Front government, but efforts are being made in that direction," the 94-year-old CPI(M) leader said while unveiling the website of the party's Jadavpur Lok Sabha candidate Sujan Chakraborty.
Echoing party general secretary Prakash Karat, Basu said if the Third Front, of which Left is a part, was in a position to form the government, the CPI(M) might join it.
"The Third Front is the only alternative. If it forms a government at the Centre, we may perhaps join this time. Last time we could not, but this time we may perhaps," he said.
Basu, who is still considered a vote-catcher for the party, regretted that old age and failing health prevented him from meeting people. Unlike in the past the CPI(M) has not ruled out participation in a Third Front government after the Lok Sabha polls. Karat had said in Delhi yesterday if a situation developed, it would be taken stock of and the question of joining the government decided.
Basu had declined to accept the mantle of Prime Ministership at the directive of his party politburo despite being a consensus candidate when the United Front came into power at the Centre in 1996. He became embroiled in controversy when he described as a 'historic blunder' his party's decision against accepting the primeministership -- a comment termed by CPI(M) as his "personal view".