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The BSP pushes for the bill for reservations in promotion, SP objects, Government clueless




In politics, they say, nothing comes free. And so the Government keeps on discovering. Right now, the biggest necessity for the Government was to ensure that the vote for FDI in Parliament is supportive of the UPA. The allies of the UPA (such as the DMK, and a few other smaller allies) are tied to the survival of the Government, even though they are not exactly friendly with the Congress, and hence they will keep on voting for the UPA. The Government used to face a loose cannon in the form of Mamta Banerjee, but at some pain, she was finally removed from the UPA and ensured that the Government had one less maverick to deal with. Now the Congress is content to let her go down the path of financial ruin, and not provide any support to her in terms of extra financial support; given the state of finances of West Bengal, she has her hands full (and her policies and whimsical attitudes are not exactly inviting industries in West Bengal).
Now, coming to the 2 leading parties of the Uttar Pradesh. It has always been a surprise for many people to see the extent to which the BSP and the SP can support the Government. In every situation where the Government has been under some pressure, these parties have taken some time, but in the end, have followed a strategy where the Government has ensured that it does not lose any bill in Parliament (whether through these parties abstaining or supporting). One big pressure point for both these parties is the CBI and other investigations going into the assets of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati, and these investigations ensure that the parties are always under pressure to support the Government.

Now, some time back, the Supreme Court struck down the concept of reservation in promotions for the SC and ST categories, a judgment that caused a tremor in the parties. The BSP was quick to pounce, with Mayawati seeing an opportunity to consolidate her support among the most backward castes through aggressively pushing for a Constitution Amendment Bill that puts reservations in promotions back for SC/ST. However, such a bill would have a negative impact on the support base of the SP, and there is no way that Mulayam Singh Yadav would allow Mayawati to seem that she was won over him, and he has been opposing such a bill (something that a lot of the other parties would like to support, but it seems impossible for any party except maybe the SP to publicly oppose such a bill).
Now, it would seem that the pressure of the CBI investigation was not enough to convince Mayawati to vote for the FDI vote, and she got a promise from the Government that it would bring the reservation bill in Parliament. There are not many days left in the winter session and the Government has a number of financial bills that it would like to bring in Parliament, but it would be difficult to push the reservation bill behind these financial bills. However, the Samajwadi Party will do all kinds of protests and drama to ensure that the bill does not get tabled (and political parties have got much better at ensuring that such protests are successful at blocking bills in Parliament).
And this is probably what most parties want in a way, that the SP continues to block the bill till the session is over; but the Congress also has to face the prospect of not being able to pass the financial bills and again seem to be paralysed over economic reform.




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