After national emergency in 1975 the subsequent polls that were held in 1977 all the Congress leaders were blown up in the Janta Party wave. It was the end of one party's domination in Lok Sabha and the rise of coalition politics in India.
Off course the government led by Morarji Desai did not last long but it gave birth to the idea that a separate front can also govern the country.
The same formula is now being experimented in the Lok Sabha election 2014. This time there is not only the Congress, but the BJP as well. .
The 2014 election is not going to be fought between two prime alliance like before, the UPA led by the Congress and the NDA led by the BJP. This time it would be a triangular contest with non BJP non Congress parties forming an alliance and calling it a 'Third Front.'
The Third Front consists of Samajwadi Party (SP), Janta Dal United (JDU), Janta Dal Secular (JDS),Biju Janta Dal (BJD), All India Anna Dravid Muntetra Kadgam (AIADMK), Asom Gana Parishad, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha(JVM).
Besides four left parties, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM), Communist Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Forward Block are also members of the third front.
Nearly all of parties supremo mentioned above are undeclared Prime Ministerial candidate of their respected parties.
It would be worth to mention that, formation process of this Third Front started, when BJP declared its Prime Ministrial candidate. This declaration, promted the JDU in Bihar to break ties with the BJP after having an association for almost seventeen years. This in turn triggered all the regional parties to get together in opposition to both the Congress and the BJP.
Given the context and the perspective of the Third front, we cannot ignore its influence in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Samajwadi Party is in power in UP today. It's governing the state which has the largest number of Lok Sabha seats (80). Since the road to Delhi passes through UP, Samajwadi Party will definitely have a crucial role to play in the upcoming election.
In Bihar JDU is in majority in the state assembly. After its divorce with the BJP, it has not lost its prominent support base i.e the OBC's and the Muslims. Bihar has 40 Lok Sabha seats. The JDU has the potential to contribute 20 plus Lok Sabha seats. In such case its vitality in upcoming election cannot be ignored.
In south India Tamilnadu has the maximum number of Lok Sabha seats (39). In this state AIADMK is in power. The party has the large support base due to charismatic personality of its leader Jayalaitha. She is also the unofficial Prime Ministerial candidate of her party. If AIADMK wins at least half of seats, it could crucial at time of government formation.
Biju Janta Dal (BJD) is the ruling party in Odisha. This state has 21 Lok Sabha seats. BJD has 14 MP's in current Parliament. If they could manage to get same numbers this year too, they will be in good position to help the third front form the government.
The weakling's of this alliance is the left Parties. They are outnumbered in West Bengal which was their unbeaten fortress for almost three decades. CPI (M) is also contesting from Kerala and Tripura. CPI (M) has power to win five out of twenty seats in Kerala and both seats of Tripura. If the left parties can unite they can win a sizable number of seats in West Bengal that has 42 Lok Sabha seats.
The number of Lok Sabha seats required to get simple majority to form government is 272, but looking at recent scenario, it is not going to be easy for any political party or a political formation to get near to that figure.
In such case, if both the NDA and the UPA is not in a position to form the government then the Third Front has the chance to play a crucial role in the formation of the next government.
They have some experienced leaders who have governed their respective states and have also held ministerial position at center. They are quite capable to provide an alternative government sans the Congress and the BJP led government.