Third Front talk premature says Mulayam

By: | Updated: 11 Mar 2012 09:22 PM

If Mulayam Singh Yadav is keen to build an alternative front, he is doing
so with caution and keeping in mind the pitfalls of the past.

The buzz about the Thursday swearing-in of Akhilesh Yadav being more than
an oath-taking ceremony grew louder after clamours by senior Samajwadi
leaders that they would like to see Mulayam as Prime Minister in 2014.

But the Samajwadi chief himself played down the talk of a third front as
"premature", perhaps careful not to let the plan be killed before it
starts taking shape.

"There is no such talk yet. Right now, it is premature. I am not in a
position to say anything about it," Mulayam said before leaving for Delhi
with Akhilesh.

The list of invitees for the March 15 coronation of Akhilesh includes
Jayalalithaa, who could possibly be engaged in an initiative for a third
front. Jayalalithaa is expected to send a representative to the event.
Left leaders are scheduled to attend, as are Chandrababu Naidu, Lalu
Prasad and Sharad Yadav.

Samajwadi insiders said Mulayam wanted the swearing-in ceremony, planned
on a sprawling ground behind the chief minister's office, to be a grand
event not only to highlight the party's biggest victory in the state so
far but also to herald a new beginning for himself.

Senior party leader Azam Khan said he and several others would like to see
Mulayam become Prime Minister, fuelling the speculation that the
swearing-in could be used by Mulayam to explore an effective alternative
at the Centre after the 2014 general election.

The meetings with Jayalalithaa's representative and Naidu would be the
first in almost five years. Mulayam had held talks with Jayalalithaa for a
possible anti-Congress front in 2007, before the Samajwadi lost power to
Mayawati in May that year.

A month before that, Jayalalithaa, Mulayam and Naidu had been invited to a
Chandigarh programme in memory of Devi Lal. But the overtures ended

In 2009, an unsuccessful effort towards the formation of such a front
revolved around Mayawati. That initiative was pushed by HD Deve Gowda,
Left leaders Prakash Karat and AB Bardhan, and Jayalalithaa. Mayawati was
projected as the head of such a front and a possible Prime Minister. The
Left later denied having pushed for Mayawati as Prime Minister.

Karat and Bardhan are likely to attend Akhilesh's swearing-in, Samajwadi
sources said.

- The Telegraph, Calcutta

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First Published: 11 Mar 2012 09:22 PM
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