In the 16th loksabha election the BJP and Congress are the only major national parties on the political scene. The AAP is the new entrant in this general election Apart from this, the regional parties are in the fray. Some of them have aligned themselves and call the `The Third Front`
Before the emergence regional parties, Congress was the single largest party in India. But after it proposed Hindi as a national language, the first regional party DMK emerged in Tamil Nadu that took power in 1967.
Since then many regional political parties has emerged like the Samajwadi party in UP, Shivsena in Maharashtra, TDP in Andhra Pradesh, RJD, JDU in Bihar. All of them are powerful political parties in their states.
The importance of regional parties is felt soon after the Indira era. Even Congress party needed support from regional parties to form government.
Major states like Uttarpradesh (Samajwadi party, BSP), Tamilnadu (DMK, AIADMK), Maharashtra (Shivsena, MNS), Bihar(JD(U), RJD), Andhra Pradesh (TDP,TRS) are governed by regional political parties.
It is not possible for both the BJP and the Congress, to come to power without the help of regional parties in the 16th Lok Sabha election. Both the parties have stitched alliances with the regional parties.
However, some regional parties that are not in alliance with the BJP or Congress have come together to form a third front. The idea of "Third Front" was first proposed by Prakashkarat of CPI (M). He met various regional party leaders such as Mulayam Singh Yadav, Jayalalitha and Nithish Kumar to form the third front.
The political leaders of the third front knows that in case the BJP and the Congress alliances fail to get majority, they have chance to form the governmen
The reason for this is regional parties have considerable influence on seats in the bigger states such as Uttarpradesh (80), Bihar (40), Andhra Pradesh (42), West Bengal (42) Maharashtra (48) and Tamilnadu (39).
These six states together have 269 Lok Sabha seats. The third front thinks it can have important share of seats from these states. This is the key point behind the formation of the Third Front.
The third front will get at least 170 seats out 269 seats from these states. So in case if BJP and Congress can`t get majority, the chances of third front will brighten up.
AAP will not make much impact on parliamentary election because of caste based vote banks politics. They may win few seats and eventually support the third front. In such case the third front will further get strengthened. If third front keep their alliance intact there is a possibility for them to form the next government.
However, Tamilnadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha has withdrawn her support from the Third Front. This is a big set back to the strength of the third front.
The Third Front may or may not form a government but it is sure that regional parties alone will determine who will come to power at centre in 2014 Lok Sabha election.
Mayil ravanan V