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'Karat's statement has caused confusion within the Third Front'

March 27, 2009 18:12 IST
The Third Front was born with a promise at Dobaspet, Tumkur near Bengaluru nearly a month back. The question now is whether everything is hunky-dory in the Third Front especially in the wake of a statement made by Communist Party of India-Marxist (an essential component in the Third Front) General Secretary Prakash Karat in which he stated that his party is open to talks with the Congress after the elections.

Veerendra Kumar, Janata Dal-Secular member of Parliament from Kerala and a key constituent of the new alliance, spoke to rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa and stated his perspectives.

How serious is this concept called the Third Front? Is it just an alliance which will help parties increase their bargaining capacity with either the United Progressive Alliance or the National Democratic Alliance after the elections?

That is incorrect. We have expressed our intentions during the Tumkur rally and we stand by it. The Third Front is serious about its future and it is not a forum which helps parties increase their bargaining capacity.

In case the Third Front fails to touch the magic number, then which party would you ally with? Will it be the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Indian National Congress?

Once again I would like to state here that we have made our intentions clear. We are a separate entity and have our own identification. The Third Front will either form the government on its own or it will not. There is no question of allying either with the BJP or the Congress.

The Third Front portrayed a united front at Tumkur. Then what happened? Karat of the CPi-M said that he would hold talks with the Congress after the elections. It is the first sign of bickering within the front?

As per my knowledge there is unity in the Third Front. Several parties have come together on one platform to fight the elections together. However regarding Karat's statement, I seriously have no idea as to why he made it. To be honest, his statement has only created confusion for all of us.

What are you doing about it? Don't you think that the problem needs to be addressed?

See, these are larger issues and I cannot comment much on it. Let H D Deve Gowda (JD-S chief) handle it. I think he will handle this situation.

As expected the Third Front has already started having its share of confusion. What stability can you promise if at all you form the government?

These issues will be sorted out. Every front has its differences and it is not exclusive only to the Third Front.

There is talk that the CPI-M will suffer a set back in your state -- Kerala. Would you like to tell us more about it?

There is not much I can comment on this. However I must say that there is a large deal of confusion within many parties especially in the wake of the statement made by Karat about holding talks with the Congress after the elections. This may have a repercussion on the CPI-M's standing in Kerala.

How does the Third Front view the Varun Gandhi controversy?

I think that it is the NDA which has to explain things to the voter rather than us taking any stand on it. We are here to fight the elections and we will do our bit. The Varun Gandhi issue falls under the domain of the NDA and let them handle it.

Lastly what are the chances of your own party? The last time you had three seats.

I can say with confidence that the Janata Dal-Secular will increase its vote share in the forthcoming elections. I cannot say anything more than this.

Vicky Nanjappa