Kolkata, Feb 5 IANS | 11 months ago

In a scathing attack on efforts to forge a Third Front, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Wednesday said it would only make India "third grade" and held its associates responsible for the lack of development in the eastern region.

"Third Front will make India third grade and we need to reject them forever. Those talking about the Third Front in Delhi should come here and see which way the wind is blowing," the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said at a rally at the Brigade Parade grounds here.

Modi's comments came on a day 14 non-Congress and non-BJP parties met in Delhi to give formal shape to a "third force" and formulate a common policy against the Congress and BJP.

The Left, who have a strong base in West Bengal, played a leading role in bringing together the parties.

Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also time and again favoured the formation of a federal front of regional parties as an alternative to the Congress and the BJP.

The Gujarat chief minister said the absence of the Third Front was the "most important" reason why the western part of India has seen development.

"On the western side, none of the Third Front parties have ruled. No associate of the Third Front has ever been able to step into that region. It is different here in the eastern states and result is lack of development," he said.

"Those who are pushing the country to the third grade in the name of the Third Front are ruling in the eastern region and, therefore, there is lack of development."

Modi assured the people that his party will work towards the progress of the country's eastern region.

"Development in the eastern part of India cannot be slow. It must match the development in the other parts of the nation," he said.

"How can Bharat Mata (Mother India) be strong if one of her hands is weak? Bihar, Orissa, Assam, West Bengal all are weak. We have to give special attention to them so that they don't remain backward. BJP will see to it," he said.

Training his guns on the Left parties, he said they behave as if "they are the proprietors of secularism".

"They talk of secularism whenever it is election time. But they don't consider Muslims as human beings. They rather consider them as vote banks. They have failed to make muslims partners in the development process," he added.

(Posted on 05-02-2014)

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