The BJP on Monday played down the idea of a third front mooted by Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrashekhar Rao and said the Indian polity has changed much beyond "the murky waters of third front".
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters in New Delhi that the "illusory and elusive concept of third front" is not a new idea.
He said it started in 1989 itself and the country has seen these governments followed by the stable National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He added that political parties have the right to make efforts to forge a front in a democracy and the judgement lies in the hands of people.
He termed the remarks of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati about conditions of support concerning Rajya Sabha and legislative council elections as "strange".
On BSP's support to Samajwadi Party for Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha bypolls, he said there has been a huge impact of the bitterness in ties between the two parties since 1995.
"Those who think that they can work magic by allying with a party here and there...the country has changed a lot."
Prasad said the BJP had a large number of allies in the NDA and is gaining more as it supports the quest of regional parties for development, without prejudice, and is sensitive to their concerns.
TRS chief and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, who has mooted the idea of a third front and offered to lead it, on Monday unveiled plans to conduct a series of meetings across the country to develop a national agenda.
Rao's idea of a front to provide an alternative to both the BJP and the Congress has already received support from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi and actor-politician Pawan Kalyan.
The TRS leader claimed that six to seven MPs from Maharashtra also telephoned him to convey their support.
Opposition parties in state lash out
Meanwhile, the Telangana units of the Congress and the BJP were unrelenting in their criticism and continued to attack KCR.
“He (KCR) doesn’t know the frustration and disappointment of people. He doesn’t know the reality of Telangana and people’s anger against him and his family. He should concentrate on serious issues such as farmers’ distress, unemployment, and fee reimbursement. The people of Telangana have seen Chandrasekhar Rao’s true colours in the past four years. They are ready to teach his government a fitting lesson,” Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy told reporters.
Senior Congress leader Revanth Reddy alleged that KCR had a ‘secret agenda’ to form a third front and divide the anti-BJP votes across the country, and ensure that the Congress would not come to power, so that the TRS could ‘protect’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Taking to Twitter, BJP MLA Kishan Reddy said, “Anyone can aspire to become PM of the country but KCR, a failed CM, both in administration and policy implementation. His move of aspiring for PM is surprising and a joke. It is a well-known fact that the people of the country had rejected the idea of third front in the past and there is no place for one in future as well. The talk of a third front, his shift to national politics is just a diversionary tactic to hide his failures.”