TDP president Chandrababu in bid to revive Third Front

HYDERABAD — Ever the politician looking out for opportunities to consolidate his position, former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu is trying to cash in on the ongoing nationwide anti-corruption campaign led by social activist Anna Hazare and revive the Third Front concept as part of his strategy to re-enter national politics.

By P S Jayaram

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Published: Sat 20 Aug 2011, 11:21 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 5:11 AM

In an apparent bid to push for revival of the failed political experiment, Naidu held parleys with leaders of like-minded parties in Delhi on Friday. He held a series of meetings with Janta Dal (S) supremo H D Deve Gowda, CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan and Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh.

Though the main focus of the talks was the Lokpal Bill and the need for a common strategy in Parliament, the meetings assumed significance in the context of talks of revival of the Third Front idea.

Once seen as a “King Maker” during United Front and NDA regimes, Naidu had kept himself away from national politics ever since his party severed ties with the BJP-led NDA after the debacle in 2004 elections.

But, now sensing the public mood across the country and the growing support for the anti-corruption campaign, Naidu is said to be keen on reviving the idea of the Third Front as an alternative to the Congress and BJP. Though tentative efforts were made in the past to bring together the Left parties and some like-minded regional outfits to form the Third Front, the idea did not take off.

TDP sources said they were hopeful that the present mood in the country would provide an ideal political platform to build the Third Front. To begin with, Naidu wants to mobilise the support of national political parties on issues like farmers’ plight and corruption including the Lokpal Bill.

The TDP has been supporting Team Anna on the issue of Jan Lokpal, and Naidu even led a rally in the city to express solidarity with the anti-graft crusader when he was lodged in Tihar Jail.

“Along with a strong Lokpal, we need laws to bring about political reforms and electoral reforms. All parties must sit together and discuss such things and strive to build a corruption- free nation,” Naidu said.

He said the TDP would mobilise political opinion in favour of including the Prime Minister’s Office under the purview of Lokpal bill and also to mount pressure on the Centre to accept the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee on agriculture sector.

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