The Third Front has a number of competent leaders who make Prime Ministerial candidates and therefore the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress do not have to worry about who will be the Prime Minister if the alternative alliance comes to power, Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said here on Friday.
Addressing a public meeting in support of CPI(M) candidate for Coimbatore constituency PR.Natarajan, he said: "We have Chief Ministers and also former Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers in our alliance. Yet, we do not want to announce a Prime Ministerial candidate now like the BJP has projected Mr. L.K. Advani. We respect the Constitution and the sovereign right provided by it to the people to choose the Prime Minister through their elected representatives." Yechury said projecting a candidate as Prime Minister was fraught with the risk of defeat if there was public resentment towards that person.
He recalled the defeat the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi suffered in Rae Bareilli in 1977 after the Congress declared she would be the Prime Minister if it won the elections.
On the view of the Congress and the BJP that the Third Front was an unstable alliance, the CPI (M) leader accused them of causing instability at the Centre by withdrawing support to two Governments of alternative alliances.
The National Front Government headed by V.P. Singh fell because of the BJP’s withdrawal of support to it over the arrest of Mr. Advani during his rath yatra. The Congress had withdrawn support to the United Front Government later. But, it would not happen this time as the alternative alliance will have the required number of seats to form a Government on its own.
Using a cricket parlance to describe Mr. Advani being projected as the Prime Ministerial candidate, comrade Yechury said: "He is only the night watchman for Narendra Modi."
On the scepticism over an alternative alliance coming to power at the Centre, he pointed out that the United Front was formed after the elections in 1996 and it came to power.
This was the case with the National Democratic Alliance in 1998 and the United Progressive Alliance in 2004. In the same way, a non-Congress, non-BJP alliance will come to power after this election.
Yechury called upon the people of Tamil Nadu to repeat the sweep of the 2004 elections, but this time in favour of the alliance led by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). "The people of Tamil Nadu have a historic role to play in deciding who will come to power at the Centre. We need a policy shift to build a better India. For that you must vote for the AIADMK alliance."
The global economic crisis had hit India also. Already one crore jobs had been lost and if damage control measures were not initiated now it would rise to five crore in the next three months. There were reports that 71 retrenched workers had committed suicide at Surat in Gujarat and that workers in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu were selling their organs to help their families survive. "We need to bridge the gap between the shining India of millionaires and the suffering India," he said.