Agartala, 13 April-2014,Sandeep Phukan: Tripura chief minister and senior CPIM Politburo member Manik Sarkar has asserted that the Third Front efforts have not suffered a setback because of the AIADMK refusing to have a seat-sharing deal with the Left parties.
Manik Sarkar, CM Tripura: Wikipedia
“The understanding at the meeting that took place on February 25 is that before the polls every party would try to gain strength in their respective states. There may be not such an understanding before polls,” Mr Sarkar told NDTV.
The Tripura chief minister, popularly referred to as Manik Babu, claims that it was Ms Jayalalitha who started the alliance talks with the Left and not the other way around. “If seat sharing didn’t work out, it does not mean the plan of the nine political parties have been shattered,” he said.
Mr Sarkar, however, sidestepped the issue of too many Prime Ministerial hopefuls in the Third Front. He said, “The leaders of these parties will decide after the election results.”
Can the Left work again with the Congress as suggested by defence minister AK Antony a few days ago? “These are issues that can be discussed only after the election results are published. I have also seen Mr Antony’s statement and he has exercised his mind. But right now, we are asking people to reject the Congress and defeat the BJP,” said Manik Babu who is often described as India’s poorest chief minister with a bank balance of Rs. 2.5 lakh in his personal account despite being in power since 1998.
So how does he view the emergence of the Aam Aadmi party?
“It’s too early to comment and one should not jump to conclusions.