New Delhi, Feb 5 IANS | 10 months ago

Putting up a united face in parliament, leaders from the Left Front, Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and other parties Wednesday announced that the non-Congress, non-BJP front would now work on "a common agenda" in both houses.

"This is the first step after the Oct 23 meeting. We are aligning non-Congress, non-BJP parties in both houses," JD-U chief Sharad Yadav said at a joint press conference after a meeting of 11 parties in the parliament house complex.

"We will sit in one block and have a joint programme," he said.

Leaders from the Left, Samajwadi Party, JD-U, JD-Secular, AIADMK, Biju Janta Dal, Asom Gana Parishad and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha were present at the press conference.

"We will have a common agenda, and we will take up issues of concern to the common man in parliament," said Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury.

Stating that the front would combat communal forces, Yechury said: "Congress has aligned with communal forces. Only we can promote secularism."

The leaders also said they will not allow Congress to use the parliament session to launch its election agenda.

"Congress is primarily to be blamed for non-functioning of parliament. We will not allow them to pass anti-corruption bills in the din and use it as their election agenda," Yechury said.

JD-S leader H.D. Deve Gowda said India needed to look beyond Congress and BJP.

"Would Indian democracy be limited only to Congress and BJP? The regional parties are a strong force," he said.

Asked if the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has scope for entering the Third Front, Yechury said their focus was on parties which have members in parliament.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), meanwhile, said the Third Front would be a non-starter.

"Rituals are integral part of every marriage ceremony. Similarly, futile attempts for formation of a Third Front are also mandatory before every election," BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad said.

"There are attempts to form a Third Front in at least three place," he said.

(Posted on 05-02-2014)

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