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Congress Government down to its last set of fickle supporters – SP and BSP




Who would have thought that the Government would have reached this point ? Just a few months back, the Congress Government looked set to continue with its set of allies to the next elections in 2014. By that time, the internal strife in the BJP would have escalated, or maybe the emergence of Narendra Modi as the undisputed leader of the BJP would have ensured that there would be a huge degree of polarization and the Congress would be the white knight standing up to the communal forces – this concept would have itself ensured that the Congress would seem to be natural party of choice for allies in a hung Parliament. And for all the talk about corruption, the Indian population would see some populist new measures that would seem to show the Congress as a caring party, and would eventually forget the corruption demon enough that they would bring the Congress back to power, and bring in the new white champion in the form of Rahul Gandhi as the reluctant leader on whom leadership has been thrust upon.
However, some of this script seems to have gone totally awry. As the Congress kept on losing allies, they seemed to still remain as arrogant as ever, claiming that they have support that will keep them in power (in fact, if you look, you will see that the Congress has not really made an effort to get back the allies that they have lost). Some of these allies were such that they were fairly faithful as long as their own interests were maintained. So, the breaks with the TMC and the DMK might have been avoided by the Congress if they had put some effort, and read the signs long before.
Now, the Government is dependent on the support of 2 of the most maverick and fickle political groupings in the country – both of these parties being from the state of Uttar Pradesh. Depending on the support of the BSP and the SP seems incredibly stupid, since both of these parties will keep on demanding their pound of flesh and will not hesitate to apply as much pressure on the Govt as they thin appropriate. Further, since the Government seems weak, the pressure that can be applied seems even larger, to the extent that the Government bends.

For now, Mayawati is silent, still licking her wounds from the previous assembly elections. In Uttar Pradesh, right only the SP and BSP count, with the BJP and the Congress way behind. However, as is very apparent, the incredible lack of good administration by Akhilesh Yadav is ensuring that their is an increasing amount of detachment with the Sawajwadi Party, and the BSP is just waiting for more of the possible support base such as the Muslims to return back to the BSP. It’s support to the Congress is essentially ‘do not rock the boat till the SP support reaches a nadir’ kind. However, it is the tactics of the SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav which are much more interesting. He knows the kind of power he wields and even the threat of the CBI hanging over his head seems a bit less now. Over the past few days, Mulayam has gone from praising BJP leaders to running down the Congress to criticizing Nitish Kumar, all to ensure that the Congress remains confused. He has also done more to increase this confusion by asking his partymen to prepare for a fresh Parliament election soon.
As for the Congress, it is hard to see how it can get Nitish Kumar as an ally; he might move away from the BJP alliance, but to ally with a party that has such a dismal reputation is not something that a smart politician such as Nitish Kumar would do. The Congress will although try to get Nitish to break the back of the NDA alliance, which would really hurt the BJP (even though there is some bravado about how increase in polarized votes will bear the reduction in seats with rupturing of the alliance with Nitish Kumar).




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