Now that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) isn’t meeting the people’s expectation and the opposition The Indian National Congress (INC) still appears dim and incompetent, there is a sudden uproar for an alternative to these two national parties in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Yes, the latest jibe is the subject of the Third Front and the man banging the drums this time is none other than Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR).
Recently, KCR appealed all the small parties to come together to form a “Third Front” to prevent both BJP and Congress from forming the subsequent government at the Centre. He has pitched for a non-UPA, non-NDA Third Front to unite together to form the subsequent government at the Centre. He is currently rallying to gather support for his political plans. Interestingly, he has received support from Mamta Banerjee – The West Bengal CM, Hemant Soren – Former Jharkhand CM, Asaduddin Owaisi – The President of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and going forward is expected to garner more support.
Now, the question is – Is Third Front better Political solution for India in 2019?
A third party besides BJP or Congress at the center is an itch. However, the regional political leader is of the opinion that the idea cannot be quenched and is so appealing for making a strong “Third Front”. When people voted for the saffron party in 2014, they voted for development, but the party not just failed to keep up the expectation of people but also lost their trust. However, this certainly doesn’t indicate that the people would come forward to vote for the grand old party. Currently, the party Congress is in voter’s denial mode. In such a situation, where BJP seems to be hurting people and Congress isn’t the one that can give their shoulders to the disappointed citizen, one cannot deny the need for a third substitute.
But then again, only a ‘powerful’ and well managed Third Front can be a workable political solution for India. Needless to say, we have already witnessed how bad a “Third Front” can be if it is not well established and/or not managed cordinally. So, if again there is an idea that is dubbed into Third Front, the immediate question is, “Will Mamta Banerjee shake hand with the Communists? Will Mayawati compromise with Akhilesh Yadav, her junior or will the regional parties who fight against each other join in sync to form a Third Front?”
While, no matter how we wish this could be true, we know it won’t last for 5 years. So what if we saw Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav jointly fighting the Uttar Pradesh Bypoll election against BJP and Congress. It was a mere arrangement, not an alliance. Amusingly, though Nitish surprised us by joining hands with Laloo for Mahaghatbandhan, it didn’t take him much time to break this tie and switch his loyalty to the BJP.
There is a possibility that the Third Front can form a government at the center with all the nationwide ghatbandhan, but, then there are equal chances of the government ruling out well before they complete their term.
The Past of the Third Front Has Been Devastating and the Future Too Looks Bleak
The concept of the Third party is not new to India. It was first applied in 1977 when the Janata Party took over the control but couldn’t deliver on the assurances that they made to the aam janta (common people). The result? Well, they were ruled out within two and a half years. The Prime minister of the Janata Party was a noble Congressman, “Morarji Desai” but couldn’t sustain his terms because none of the parties of the coalition were in the leadership.
The Bharatiya Jana Sangh now Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1977 also fused into Janata Party under public force. However, it never compromised its individuality; a dispersal and the split was predictable after the defeat. What was less comprehensible was the failure of the non-BJP rudiments to bond collectively in the Janata Party. They soon became victims of ego and phantasm to such an extent that constant reminders of their imprudence too couldn’t change their habits. They clung on to Zamindaris they could manage autocratically when a state was theirs for the taking. This was the base which laid the foundation to the eventual downfall of the experimentation in over two and a half years further casting its darkness on the succeeding anti-Congress fronts in the years to come.
V P Singh’s National Front Government in 1989 and an analogous United Front Government in 1996 continues to disturb the on-hand Third Front which is still in its embryonic stage. Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Mulayam Singh Yadav too thought of a Third front but he couldn’t do much. It wasn’t his first time though. Mulayam Singh’s political ambition of becoming Prime Minister was quite evident in 1996, however, much to his dismay he couldn’t be as during that time he didn’t have a sufficient number of MP’s. Next, H.D. Deve Gowda and Inder Kumar Gujral of Janata Dal, the then strongest Third Front went on the thrown spoiling Yadav’s dream of becoming India’s Prime Minister.
If you closely consider the “Third Front phenomena” from all the three instances, 1997, 1989 and 1996 you’ll find that the major reason for the collapse of this experiment was lack of co-operation among the coalition parties and even now what is the guarantee that Third Front of 2018-19 can supersede earlier flaws? After all, almost all the parties and its leader are opportunists.
Moreover, what is the guarantee that one party won’t come in the way of the other? The ambition, the ego, the argument, and displeasure will arise and so will be the dispute. And if we dig further more into it, looks like “The Third front” still seems like an unrealistic step.
But then again, in this world where ‘change is inevitable’ nothing is impossible.