Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Third front – Will it ever see the light of the day?

When elections are about to come and hit the door, politicians suddenly woke up from bed and start shouting about third front. When they say third front, it is quite common for others to think first and second front exists. Interestingly, people who are in first and second front themselves don’t know whether the amalgamation can be called as front or not.

Possible members

Third front used to be a non-starter; this time also it may not be different. Other than making some noise pollution just before elections, these two words won’t create any storm in the teacup. Assume that, there is a realistic possibility for the formation of a third front; then who are all can be the possible members?

Let’s start from India's biggest state by population - UP.

1. UP (80 seats in Loksabha)- Two potential candidates for third front are SP and BSP. Both parties engaged in such a brotherly love that, if SP is in third front then BSP may opt for first front - or probably to fourth front.

2. West Bengal (42) - Will TMC join the fray? They are too smart to commit a political (and economical) mistake like that. At any cost they may not want to sit in opposition (decision may come only after the elections). However, CPM, CPI, RSP are sure candidates.

3. Andra Pradesh (42) - TDP, YSRC, TRS are good candidates but it is difficult for all the three to go together.

4. Kerala (20) - CPM, CPI and allies, these parties are sure members in third front.

5. Karnataka (28) - BSY group, JD (S) can be the possible candidates.

6. Tamilnadu (39) - DMK, AIADMK, MDMK etc. Brotherly love between DMK and AIADMK are so high that, they can't be in same group for years to come. DMK may go with Congress (in politics nothing is permanent, neither friendship nor enmity); AIADMK may go with second front or stand alone.

7. Punjab (13) - There is little possibility for Akalidal to join third front.

8. Odisha (21) - BJD, this party always sits on the edge. They can go with any front, but, if there is a chance for third front then they will definitely try that one.

9. Bihar (40) - JD (U) may become nosier but may not go all the way to sink the current alliance.

10. J & K (6) - National conference may go with INC. As PDP can't join either first or second there is a possibility.

11. Haryana (10) - There is a little chance for third front to achieve any breakthrough here.

12. Asom (14) - Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Bodoland People's Front (BPF) may continue with current arrangement. All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) may join in the fray.

13. Maharashtra (48) - Shivsena, MNS, NCP. Without a clear possibility for third front acquiring majority in the centre, there is little for NCP to gain from third front. MNS may remains alone - probably supporting from outside. Shivsena may continue with current setup.

14. Nagaland (1) – Local parties may continue the alliance with INC.

15. Tripua (1) - Left bloc will surely be a constituent in third block.

16. Jharkhand (14) - Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) can ally with any front. But this also depends on state level political equations. I believe they will ally with ruling party in Jharkhand.

First front and (or) second front are prominent in states like Gujarat (26), Rajasthan (25), Madhya Pradesh (29), Chhattisgarh (11), Goa (2), Sikkim (2), Manipur (2), Meghalaya (2), Mizoram (1), Himachal Pradesh (4), Uttarakhand (5), Delhi (7) and Arunachal Pradesh (2). Third front may not be able to anything here.

Third front as a political block

This may be a non-starter. Even if third front is up and running, it may be difficult for them to agree on any politically sensitive points. There is a good possibility that, painful economic reforms may pushed back to cold storage. Will they able complete 5 years? I don’t have any reason to think so.


I think third front is simply an argumentative position for parties (except left and its allies) in their dealings with national parties. They have more to gain by saying about third front, but a lot to loss by actually going for that (in case third front didn’t able to form a government). Even if someone able to form an anti-INC, anti-BJP alliance there is little chance for it to sustain without power.


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