The biggest question which is now hovering around political circles in West Bengal is — whether Mamata Banerjee is trying to form a Third Front to combat the BJP and the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
It may be mentioned that during her campaigns before the election, Mamata Banerjee had spoken about going to other states particularly to Delhi to consolidate political base. Banerjee has invited the chief ministers of non-Congress and non-BJP states like Chandrababu Naidu, Nitish Kumar, Arvind Kejriwal, Akhilesh Yadav for the swearing in ceremony which will be held on May 27 and Naidu has already confirmed his visit.
The Left Front has over and again spoken about formation of a third front but it never saw light of the day. But over the years the strength of Congress and Left Front has gone down considerably. Currently the Congress has 44 seats and the Left Front has only 9 seats.
In the past five years in Assembly elections held in different parts in the country, the regional parties have done better than the Congress and the BJP. Stupendous success of the TMC in West Bengal Assembly elections has given Banerjee additional confidence. While the Congress has bagged 44 seats, the LF got only 32 seats of which the CPI(M) got 26 seats, RSP, Forward Bloc and CPI have got 3, 2 and 1 seats respectively.
The Left Front has become so weak that it is difficult to retrieve. The CPI(M) is expecting mass exodus of rank and file to either Trinamool or BJP. It is the realisation of both the Congress and the CPI(M) that the alliance did not click and people have given their verdict against it.
Mamata Banerjee has realised that people have supported her development projects. The poor people have supported Khadyasathi where Rs 2 per kg rice is given. Projects like Sabuj Sathi where bicycles are given to students from classes IX to XII at state-run or aided or sponsored school and Kanyashri have brought success. Not only have the rural or semi-urban voters, people in the cities also supported her.
Naturally she will put more stress on development projects in the next five years. It was learnt that after the Pujas she would be visiting the states not only to explore the possibility of the exchange of know how for better implementation of projects but also to get a first hand experience of the political scenario prevailing in other states.
Political experts said Banerjee would try to bring industries and project to West Bengal with an aim to make the state a business destination. If she is successful in this direction, then forming a Third Front will not be a distant dream.