Five-party ‘Progressive Forum’ to take on Narendra Modi in Gujarat

Ahmedabad, April 1: Janata Dal (United), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Left parties have come together in Gujarat to challenge BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on his home turf by forming a ‘Progressive Forum’, to contest elections from 11 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat.

Gujarat units of the Janata Dal (United), Samajwadi Party, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Socialist Party formed a ‘Progressive Forum’ here today and released their 16-point election manifesto.

Earlier, 11 parties had come together at the national level to form a ‘Third Front’. Out of the those 11 parties, five parties, including the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) which broke away from the NDA on the issue of Narendra Modi being declared PM candidate, have decided to challenge Modi in his home state.

“We will fight 11 Lok Sabha seats from Gujarat out of 26,” Arun Mehta of the CPI(M) said here today.

“Which party will field candidates from which seat from Gujarat has not yet been finalised,” vice-president of the state JD(U) unit, Govind Jadhav said.

Criticising both BJP and the Congress for their economic policy, the forum alleged that there is no difference between these parties and that they follow similar policies.

“At any cost, we will put up a common fight to remove Congress from power and restrain BJP so that they cannot capture power,” the Progressive Forum’s election manifesto said.

Advocating the rights of tribals, the Forum said, “By implementing Schedule 5 and 6 of the constitution in Gujarat, we will form autonomous councils in tribals areas”.