The emergence of a non-Congress, non-BJP formation, or the ‘third front’, is not a new concept in the Indian politics. A leftist third front has always existed in the past. In the present situation, the left cannot associate itself with the third front if Mamata is a part of it. Similarly, Nitish and Laloo; Mulayam and Mayawati; Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi will not coexist. The formation of the current third front is partial political compulsion, and partial greed.
JD(U)’s exit from the NDA was no big surprise. It was a calculated risk taken by both the fronts in safeguarding their target votes. Nitish crediting it all to secularism was a big joke. After-all he was the happy Railway Minister in the Vajpayee government during the Godhara riots. Nitish safely snapped himself off from both the major parties just to flag his importance. In a certain sense, this is what all the smaller parties in the third front are doing. Barring the communists, every leader is keen to become the prime minister. The third front is a platform for all these power hungry leaders to unleash their personal ambitions and engage in mortal combat.
However, unlike the left, none of the parties of the third front has the guts to shut their doors to either the BJP or the Congress. They will keep their options open and may even drift towards either of the two national parties in the end. This is also essential for them in order to form governments in their states in future. It shouldn’t be surprising if JD(U) joins BJP, in case BJP closes in on a majority and Advani persuades Nitish. Due to the leadership problem, the third front will prove to be unstable, and hence extremely corrupt. Remember? Chandra Shekhar government fell in four months, Deve Gowda’s in 11 months, and Gujral’s in 7 months. No reasonable citizen can expect the third front parties to agree on anything, or work beyond their personal itches. In their self-destructive cockfight for power, only corruption and ill-governance will prevail.