Independents Plan To Float Third Front
3 February 2005
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: The nine independent candidates who made it to Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) are not for the 'time being' interested in extending support to either Congress Party or Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in electing Mayor for JMC and managing its affairs. Instead, they are of the opinion to float the 'Third Front' with a 'collective decision'. These indications were conveyed by most of the elected independent candidates whom the EXCELSIOR contacted today. On the other hand, both Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who are almost equally placed in the number game, are also on the job to woo these independents to stake the claim for JMC. The independent candidates have also indicated that if they succeeded in their 'mission' of floating the 'Third Front' they too would seek the support of these political parties for Mayorship instead of extending support to either BJP or Congress. Mr Bansi Lal Gupta, a Congress rebel who contested as independent candidate from Ward Number 20 Gandhi Nagar and emerged victorious, was approached both by Congress and BJP today. 'One of the party has also offered me a post of Deputy Mayor on joining it. But I made it clear to them that I have not so far taken any decision about joining any of the political party ', he said. Though no senior leader of both Congress and BJP has directly approached him, yet Mr Gupta conveyed to them, through a 'common friend' that he would take time to reach to any conclusion. 'Yes. I have also started the process of contacting elected independents but nothing has been finalised so far', he disclosed and made it clear that he would take any decision after taking into confidence the people of his ward. As far as his personal opinion is concerned, he wanted to get all independents united so that a collective decision could be taken. 'Within next some days, after consulting independents and people of my ward, I would take a final decision', he said. Another Congress rebel-Dwarka Nath, who won the elections from Ward Number 52 as independent candidate, said that he was also approached by mainstream political parties. 'The middle-men told me that even if I don't want to join them there is no harm in holding meetings with the leadership of these parties', Mr Nath disclosed. He is also of the opinion that before taking any decision about joining any political party in consultation with people of his ward he should make efforts to get independent candidates united. 'I am in touch with the independent candidate from Ward Number 50 Parveen Gupta and also others', he said. Yet another Congress rebel-Balwant Kumar Ballu, who won from Ward Number 30 as independent candidate has also decided not to join hands with any political party and contribute in making Third Front of independents. 'Only my decision about joining any political party doesn't matter as I made it to the Corporation with the support of people and their decision is supreme for me', he said, adding that if independents succeeded in floating Third Front they would seek the support of political parties for proving majority. The elected independent candidate from Ward Number 50 Parveen Gupta is also reluctant to join hands with the political parties and favours floating of third front. 'I am in constant touch with Bansi Lal Gupta, Asha Rani, independent candidate from Ward Number 51 and Jaswant Singh Soodan from Ward Number 52', he disclosed and said that he has also sent messages to other independents to discuss the strategy and take a collective decision. Independent candidate from Ward Number 68, Mohinder Singh, said there is no scope of joining any political party at this juncture. 'Since nine independent candidates have made it to the Corporation and hold key to prove majority, we should immediately convene a meeting to take collective decision', he said. He, however, disclosed that BJP sent several messages to him for having a meeting with the leadership.