Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (left), former prime minister and leader of Janata Dal (Secular) party Deve Gowda (second left), senior Communist Party of India leader Prakash Karat (second right), and Janta Dal (United) party Leader Sharad Yadav (right) at a joint press meet in New Delhi yesterday.
New Delhi: The grouping of 11 non-UPA, non-NDA parties will contest the coming Lok Sabha elections and ensure defeat of the Congress and the BJP, CPI-M leader Prakash Karat said here yesterday.
Briefing reporters after the meeting of 11 parties, which include the Samajwadi Party, AIADMK, Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and four Left parties, Karat said the parties will work to provide an alternative to the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party at the centre.
“Leaders of 11 parties have resolved to fight upcoming Lok Sabha elections together,” he said.
The meeting was not attended by Asom Gana Parishad and Biju Janata Dal but Karat said the leaders of these parties had conveyed in advance their reasons for not being able to attend.
“Keeping in mind Lok Sabha elections, we decided that leaders of 11 parties should meet and decide on cooperation and working together,” he said.
Contending the “misrule” of Congress-led United Progressive Alliance has been marked by “massive corruption, unprecedented price rise, acute distress of farmers and glaring inequalities”, Karat said: “We do not want Congress and UPA to continue in power. We will work for defeat of Congress and UPA.”
The BJP’s basic policies were “no different” from those of the Congress, he said, claiming that on the issue of corruption, the record of BJP-ruled states and that of the National Democratic Alliance government was “as bad or worse as (of) Congress
“Today, the challenge before us by the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is the challenge to the very edifice of secular society,” Karat said.
He accused the BJP and “its mentor RSS” of communal agenda and said the grouping will “ensure that BJP and its allies are not able to come to power at the centre.”
“We need alternative to BJP and Congress. Leaders of 11 parties resolved today to work together to present an alternative before the country,” he said.
The leaders also issued a joint declaration which said they will present an alternative which will have “democratic, secular, federal and pro-people” agenda.
Answering queries, JD-U president Sharad Yadav said the grouping “was the first front”.
He said its prime ministerial candidate will be decided after the Lok Sabha elections expected in April-May.
On seat sharing, Karat said each party will ensure success in their states, while they will “pool resources at all-India level”.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ruled out any truck of his JD-U and the alliance led by the BJP after the elections, while Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said that more parties will be included in the new front.
Apart from Communist Party of India-Marxist, the other left parties in the 11-party front include Communist Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Forward Bloc.
The parties attended a convention against communalism in October and met earlier this month for floor coordination in parliament. IANS