Bardhan, Naidu discuss Third Front revival


Hyderabad : The prospects of reviving the Third Front at the national level and of forming a grand alliance against the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh were discussed at a meeting here Wednesday between Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu.

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CPI leaders D. Raja, S. Sudhakar Reddy, P. Nageswara Rao and others were also present at the breakfast meeting. CPI state secretary A. Narayana, who is reportedly in favour of an alliance with Telugu superstar – and Praja Rajyam party chief – Chiranjeevi, was conspicuous by his absence.

Bardhan is here to attend the CPI state committee meeting. On Tuesday, he had met Praja Rajyam party chief Chiranjeevi.

As Chiranjeevi has refused to be part of any alliance that has the TDP as its constituent, both the CPI and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) are in a quandary over the formation of a grand alliance to take on the Congress in the assembly elections due next year.

The CPI state leadership favours an alliance with the Praja Rajyam but the party’s national leaders appear to be in favor of joining hands with the TDP.

Bardhan, during his meeting with Chiranjeevi Tuesday, invited him to be a part of the Third Front and the proposed grand alliance but the Telugu superstar remained non-committal.

The CPI leader said a decision on an electoral alliance in Andhra Pradesh would be taken by the party’s national executive after thorough discussions with the state committee. He added that a decision was likely in December.

The CPI and CPI-M, along with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), were allies of the Congress during the 2004 assembly elections. All three have now turned against the Congress and have come closer to the TDP.

The Left parties had withdrawn their outside support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government over the India-US civilian nuclear deal. The TRS, which was a part of the ruling United Progressive Alliance at the centre, pulled out after the government refused to commit itself to carving out a Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh.

The formation of the Praja Rajyam by Chiranjeevi in August has added a new political force in the state. The communist parties and the TRS have still not taken a decision on whether to join hands with the TDP or sail with Chiranjeevi’s party.