Asli Left, naqli Left
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The scenario that can be foretold today is that the UPA, led by the Congress, will not return to power. I wouldn't be surprised if its tally comes down considerably. This is because the policies that it has pursued are so obviously brokered by corporate houses and foreign capital. They impose burdens on the people and make life more and more difficult for the common man.
On the other hand, the BJP cannot benefit from this either, because it is so fractured, with at least five claimants to prime ministership, and as tainted with corruption as the Congress. Just because it was not in power, it has been able to avoid direct indictment by the CAG. However, it basically follows the same policies as the Congress. Some of the BJP's opposition is only its posturing as a party of the opposition.
Thus, there appears to be a political vacuum. This, in my opinion, can be filled by an assortment of regional parties and some other parties that are getting more and more disillusioned with the Congress government.
These parties and forces include the Trinamool Congress, which has recently taken a strident position against the government, as well as groups like Babulal Marandi's party. In this situation, objectively, the Left parties can play a cementing role. This is sometimes considered a third front, or a federal front, as some choose to call it, thinking that ten chief ministers can produce one prime minister.
Past experience has shown that such a front, shorn of any programme or not bound together by a common outlook on the future course of development, does not carry credibility. Large sections look upon such a front as an opportunist gang-up. What is essential, therefore, is a programme-based front that takes up issues of the people. Such a programme can only evolve through common movements and struggles on economic and social policies, and even political and foreign policies.
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