01 November, 2020

Selling This Idea Will Take Time

At 86, Jyoti Basu still spearheads the political battle against the ruling NDA. After he relinquished chief ministership, he has emerged as the undisputed leader of the still nascent Third Front. Basu spoke to Outlook. Excerpts:

Selling This Idea Will Take Time
What are the Third Front's prospects?

Setting up the Third Front will be difficult, very difficult. There's a lot of work to be done. There are state parties, for instance, which have their own interests to protect. I really cannot say at present what ultimate shape it will take.

Do you think disappointment with the Vajpayee government is reaching a peak?

The people's anger is definitely mounting. After all, what are the economic policies of the NDA? They are just selling the country, its industries, abandoning the people. Everyone can see how major factories are closing down, new ones are not starting, people are losing jobs all over the place, farmers are committing suicide even in affluent states and prices are rising. In Bengal, they will close down six public sector units. Just what do they want and where will the people go?

Are all potential constituents of the Third Front united on opposing these economic policies? At the political level, Mulayam Singh Yadav seems to be keeping away.

He's afraid of the Congress—he's...


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