For A Force Mul­ti­plier

India Today - - MAIL - by Lakshmi Iyer

Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav’s first call for re­viv­ing the Third Front came soon af­ter his party won the Main­puri seat. While his crit­ics claim that Mu­layam’s pet plan is noth­ing more than a pie in the sky his sup­port­ers re­it­er­ate the leader’s sen­ti­ment that it is an idea whose time has come. Says Congress’ Sal­man Khur­sheed: “The Third Front is a non-starter. It is just Mu­layam’s at­tempt to ne­go­ti­ate with the BJP. He is frus­trated be­cause his party has about 40MPs who have no role what­so­ever in the cur­rent Lok Sabha.” Mu­layam’s lieu­tenant Amar Singh thinks other­wise. He is con­fi­dent that the Third Front will be a re­al­ity, though he ad­mits much will de­pend on the re­sults of the Bi­har as­sem­bly elec­tions next month.

Though there isn’t an ob­vi­ous plan to desta­bilise the UPA Govern­ment at this stage, the SP lead­ers are clearly work­ing over­time to fig­ure out the dis­sat­is­fac­tion quo­tient within the UPA. They have al­ready lo­cated its po­ten­tial po­lit­i­cal space. In the past four Lok Sabha elec­tions, they ar­gue, nei­ther the Congress nor the BJP se­cured more than 280 seats of the to­tal 543. Both the na­tional par­ties had to de­pend on smaller par­ties to cob­ble up a govern­ment.

Jan­uary 24, 2005

WHO IS THE THIRD? AMAR SINGH AND MU­LAYAM SINGH YA­DAV

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