NEW DELHI, Feb 3:
With broad contours of a ‘Third Force’ emerging ahead of Lok Sabha polls, Government will have to face a new pressure group from the Opposition minus BJP on key issues as Parliament’s extended winter session re-convenes on February 5.
Amid efforts by Left and other parties to form a non-Congress, non-BJP conglomeration, a meeting of Parliamentary party leaders from Left parties, SP, JDU, JDS, AIADMK, BJD, AGP and JVM (P) is scheduled in Parliament House Committee room on February 5 to work out a common floor strategy against the Government.
The broad parameters for the strategy were decided in a meeting of CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury, SP leader Ramgopal Yadav and JD(U) general secretary Ramgopal Yadav on February 27 in Delhi, sources said.
The issue of federal rights vis-a-vis Centre-States relation will provide the glue for these regional satraps to stick together, a senior politician associated with the exercise said.
When contacted, JD(U) leader K C Tyagi said, “One factor which has clearly emerged after results of the assembly elections in four major states recently is that there is an anti-Congress mood in the country.
“If there is some non-Congress option other than BJP, people are ready to vote for it.This fact comes out from the result of Delhi Assembly elections in which a new party AAP formed Government despite the presence of Congress and BJP.We are thinking on that.”
The JD(U) leader also said that Congress has failed to check “communal forces” so the task has now come to regional parties.
“We will check BJP. Regional parties are very strong in their specific states,” he said.
The JD(U) leader said these parties put together have almost equal number of MPs, what the BJP has and hence the strategy in future is to keep a separate secular non-Congress identity for this block both in Parliament and outside.
“There is a need for these parties to take a common ideological position on some issues as so far it is BJP, which is mainly seen as opposing the Congress on policies,” he said.
On February 5 when Parliament meets, the leaders of these parties will come together and try to formulate a common position on many issues.
“There is the issue of Centre State relations.While the Centre realises taxes from states as well, most the schemes of public welfare are decided by the Centre be it MGNREGA or JNURRM. Fifty percent of schemes should be decided by states for which central funding goes as the central fund is also from taxes collected from states,” he said.
Tyagi’s remarks came a day after AIADMK chief J Jayalalitha clinched a deal with CPI for Lok Sabha polls.
JD(U), AIADMK, BJD, AGP, SP, JDS and JVM (P) had also attended the Convention Against Communalism on October 30.
JD(U) President Sharad Yadav has expressed confidence of non-Congress non-BJP parties coming together despite internal contradictions in some states citing examples from past and asserting that such a possibility exist for future as well.
JD(U), which walked out NDA in June last year, has made it clear that it will maintain equidistance from both Congress and BJP.
Tyagi also cited the case of inauguration of the extended branch of Aligarh Muslim University in Kishanganj in Bihar on January 30 by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi as another example of Centre ignoring states alleging that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar got an invitation for it only one day before the function despite the state giving land.
Giving an inkling of their strategy in Parliament, he said, “We have seen reports that the Finance Minister and the Rail Minister could announce some populist schemes to help Congress in elections.We will oppose it tooth and nail.
“They should confine their work to present vote on account for which this session has been called. If they go beyond, then this group of secular parties will oppose the Government on the floor of the House,” Tyagi said. (PTI)