Despite hiccup, Third Front to go ahead with rally

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi, Aug 28 | Updated: Aug 30 2008, 04:53am hrs
Large egos notwithstanding, leaders of the yet to-be-born Third Front have still not abandoned the proposed public rally to bring non-Congress, non-BJP constituents in one platform, hopeful that its modalities will be finalised in a meeting here next week.

Senior JD(S) leaders, who are in the forefront in the efforts to turn the Front into a reality, asserted on Thursday that the alternative formation as well as the proposed rally was still on their drawing board. "The meeting would be discussing the organisational structure of the Front and we would also decide on the date of our first rally, which could be held in early September," party leaders said.

The proposed Front suffered its first setback when Mayawati's announced her decision to contest all the Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh alone, which promptly led to distancing with the RLD. Trouble also loomed large when the Left parties chose to be non-committal on the issue of projecting Mayawati as the Front's Prime Ministerial candidate.

Party leaders however are hopeful that JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda, who has been acting as a fulcrum of the Front, will take up the issue with full vigour once again after he returns from Bangalore on August 31.Last week saw hectic parleys among the Third Front leaders with TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu having met CPI(M) leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury and BSP supremo Mayawati. Later Karat also had lengthy discussions with the Uttar Pradesh CM, while RLD leader Ajit Singh had met Gowda. Front sources said with several meetings having taken place, next weeks proposed meeting of all constituents could also fine tune the strategy of the alliance keeping in mind the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. The proposed meeting incidentally could also discuss the issue of the Fronts Prime Ministerial candidate, they said.