It may just be a straw in the shifting political winds ahead of the 2014 polls, but it is a significant one. In an article in the Trinamool Congress’s weekly mouthpiece, Jago Bangla, titled ‘The call for a federal front, a timely step’, party MP and veteran leader Prof Saugata Roy has written that the proposed front “will have regional parties as constituents who have no truck with the BJP”. Significantly, the article does not mention anything about links with the Congress.
“The Trinamool Congress, JD(U), BJD and AIADMK are in power, on their own strength, in their respective states and are in a position to win a good number of seats (in the Lok Sabha) on their individual strength, without depending on others. SP is in power in UP and BSP is the main opposition party, but both do not want to align with the BJP,” he writes, while remaining silent on ties with the Congress. According to him, TMC will win at least 32 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.
Earlier this year, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee had given the call for a federal front, around the time that the JD(U) walked out of the NDA as the BJP picked Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to lead its campaign.
“It is clear that Narendra Modi is a personality who creates political polarisation. BJP and RSS workers may be happy at his elevation, but at the same time it will result in diminishing the strength of NDA constituents... As a result, even if the BJP is able to increase its own share of seats, the NDA strength will not go up,” writes Roy.
“It is in this context that one has to seek the answers to the political formations in the post-2014 Lok Sabha polls,” writes Roy, adding that the third front will include TMC, JD(U), BJD, AIADMK, SP, BSP and TDP. “The YSR Congress may join later. Similarly, the TRS is also keen to join this front,” he writes, adding that while the writing on the wall is not very clear yet, the call for a federal front is a timely step.