The CPM, that has taken other leftist parties for a ride leading to heart burning in its smaller partners, is now propagating the idea of a non-BJP, non-Congress, Third Front. As a communist outfit, it has no use for political morality. Otherwise it would have first withdrawn outside support to the UPA before sponsoring the concept of a new front. It won'ttake this moral route, as it would put to an end its policy of enjoying immense power without responsibility. It is political opportunism of the worst kind. Nothing better is expected from a party that is known for double standards in every walk of life. It talks of ushering in a socialist state but has no shame in proclaiming that it can'tdo without capitalism. It enjoys all the privileges and freedoms accruing from a democratic set up but indulges in Stalinist methods to retain power in West Bengal. It says it would be dangerous to accept Gujarat as a model state on the basis of the state'sachievements in the socio-economic sectors. As for CPM is concerned, no state that reaffirms its faith in the ?communal? BJP can be called a model state. Of course, West Bengal is a ?model? state despite its poor record in terms of low economic growth and rising unemployment, and where elections are rarely free and fair what with bogus voting, booth capturing and use of muscle power to kill and maim those who dare to raise their voice against communist misrule. Or may be, Kerala is a ?model? state where communists have amassed massive wealth by converting politics into a money spinner, where CPM is a commercial enterprise and where communists goon routinely kill and maim RSS workers, particularly those who desert CPM because of loss of faith in the party'sideology and commitment to social causes.
Prakash Karat grandly announces that left parties will wage a war against ?communal? BJP as the Congress party had failed to fight communalism. He conveniently glossed over the stark reality that left parties failed to win a single seat in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh where the Congress emerged as a runner up. Communists? loud-mouthed claims of commitment to ?secularism? are a farce. In state after state they indulge in communal politics. They appease minorities to create a Muslim vote bank. Their support to illegal Muslim migrants from Bangladesh is too well known to confuse anyone about their commitment to ?secularism?. CPM'sdescription of the BJP as its ?enemy No. 1? is a measure of its ?Stalinist? mindset and lack of commitment to democratic norms. Political parties may be considered enemies only in dictatorial regimes. In democratic countries, they are perceived to be adversaries or ideological rivals. Communists are a misfit in democracies. They destroy democracies from within to usher in dictatorships.
The United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) ? a rag-tag alliance of defeated regional outfits that lacks cohesion and direction ? has naturally welcomed the CPM'sgrand announcement about its intent. As of now, UNPA is not in power even a single state. By joining hands with the left front, the alliance can claim to be in power in three states and some sort of a claim for a share in power at the Centre. The alliance has nothing to lose but its total isolation and irrelevance to the polity. Regional parties that now constitute UNPA know leftists are unreliable partners and can ditch them whenever it suits them. But they don'tcare. They are used to losing major partners. Didn'tthey survive after AIADMK ? the only party with a mass base in at least one state ? left with within weeks of joining the alliance? UNPA has learnt nothing from the death of its predecessor ? The National Front ? that briefly came to power with the outside support of the Congress but suffered repeated humiliations at the hands of the supporting party. UNPA is bound to meet a worst fate in the coming years, provided it survives that long. The Congress party is worried because it apprehends its further marginalisation. That is why it has raised the bogey of split in the ?secular? vote in case a Third Front materializes. It is sheer nonsense. Most of the parties that are likely to join the Third Front perceive Congress to be their major rivals in their respective states. Only a dim wit can perceive these parties to be alliance partners of the Congress. Sonia Gandhi is too desperate to forge an anti-BJP alliance whatever the compromises she has to make.
Despite emergence of numerous regional parties in different parts of the country, we have now a bi-polar polity – BJP-led alliance and the Congress-led alliance as the two poles. None of the left parties are national outfits. Their area of influence and relevance is restricted to three states. They may succeed in roping in certain disgruntled and frustrated regional outfits for a while. However, an ?institutionalized? Third Front is a pipe dream. Smaller parties in the left front itself are annoyed with the big brother CPM for ignoring them and humiliating them publicly. These parties took strong exception to Prakash Karat'sstinging denunciation of RSP for the latter'scriticism of welcoming private capital. RSP, Forward Block and CPI have told CPM to stop running West Bengal as a single party Government. They publicly declared that they were not prepared to follow the dictates of a single party. The trouble took a serious turn over the handling of Nandigram where CPM goons killed political opponents and ?recaptured? the area as the police looked the other way. It worsened with the acceptance of capitalism as a necessary evil by the CPM. If Karat'sarrogance is not acceptable to the ideological family, how long the regional satraps who are no less arrogant can pull together? The very concept of a Third Front is, therefore, ridiculous. Such a front is neither feasible nor desirable The so called front is indeed a CPM sponsored affront to the nation.