19 March 2009
New Delhi: The "so-called secular forces" associated with the Left parties in the name of Third Front will "definitely go back" to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) group after the Lok Sabha polls, warned senior Congress leader and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi.
"Mayawati's BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party), Naveen Patnaik's BJD (Biju Janata Dal), Deve Gowda's Janata Dal (JD-S), Jayalalitha's AIADMK....check the record of the parties associated with the Left. All of them have worked with the BJP in the past. Then what is the guarantee that these so-called secular parties would not go with the BJP after the elections?" Ravi asked.
"They are all the same people who were associated with the BJP in the past. Definitely they will go back to the BJP," the 72-year-old politician, who is also Overseas Indian Affairs Minister, told IANS in an interview here.
Terming the Left parties' ambition to form an alternative to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government as an "opportunistic move", Ravi said: "They cannot form an alliance as all are divided. It is a thin crowd and more than three persons are aspiring to become prime minister. How can such a group offer leadership to the country? It is a myth."
"The Third Front is not a new idea. It is a failed experiment. The Communists tried to form an alternative to the Congress in 1967 and 1971. But they failed," said Ravi, who entered politics by fighting the Communists in his high school days in his home state, Kerala.
Ravi was founder-president of the Kerala Students Union (KSU), the students' wing of the Congress party in the state.
He lashed out at the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), accusing it of "creating the ground for the rise of communal and reactionary forces" in the country.
"In 1977, the CPI-M joined the Jana Sangh to form the first non-Congress government. They helped groom the reactionary forces and leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani. They were made ministers in the Janata Party government supported by the Marxists," Ravi said.
In his reckoning the Congress party was the only party ready to fight communal forces.
"In the 1984 elections, Rajiv Gandhi led the charge and reduced the BJP's number to two. But the reactionary forces tried to malign Rajiv with false allegations. The Communists again joined them to form the non-Congress government led by V.P. Singh."
He also accused the BJP of dividing Indian society.
"Advani's Rath Yatra and the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya divided Indian society," Ravi said.
He claimed that the policies and schemes introduced by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and Bharat Nirman would help it win people's support in the elections.
"The UPA government is the only and the best government in the history of India which placed the country among the six developed nations," Ravi said.
"We are very proud, we have a prime minister who is well respected all over the world. His policies and programmes saved the country from an economic crisis."
"In the time of difficulties, especially during the time of terror attacks, the diplomatic efforts by the government cornered Pakistan," he said.