Ally trouble continues to dog Congress (Lead)July 22nd, 2012 - 1:00 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) The Congress continued to be dogged by ally trouble Saturday as the strain in its relations with the NCP spread to its Maharashtra alliance, while the Trinamool Congress said it was capable of going it alone in West Bengal as it had the majority to run the state government.
A day after the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said it was unhappy with some aspects of functioning of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the Sharad Pawar-led party Saturday said it also had concerns over the way the alliance was working in Maharashtra.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quick to seize on the troubles of the Congress and said it has made a mess of its coalition.
NCP leaders told IANS here that the solution to the impasse appeared difficult at this stage, with Pawar offering his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
NCP leader D.P. Tripathi met the prime minister here but said it was for a different reason and Congress-NCP relations were not discussed.
NCP leader and Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel said in Mumbai that the functioning of the alliance government has not been according to expectation of the party and its views were not considered. He however added that his party would continue to be in the UPA.
State NCP chief Madhukar Pichhad demanded regular coordination meetings while slamming Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for not giving him time to meet on five occasions while being available for Shiv Sena leaders.
Pawar, who is also the agriculture minister, has already sent a communication to the prime minister conveying the party’s unhappiness. The NCP has threatened to pull out of government and provide it only outside support.
Sources said Pawar has told Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, whom he met in quick succession Thursday night and Friday morning, that the NCP would like to keep out of the government and focus on its growth for the 2014 general elections.
Though the Congress leadership has sought to mollify Pawar, the NCP leader has remained unswayed.
The NCP leaders will meet in Delhi Monday to take a final decision on its stand.
In Kolkata, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave clear indication Saturday that the Trinamool Congress would not ally with the Congress in the coming panchayat polls in the state, and said her party was capable of going it alone in the state as it had the majority to run the government.
However, Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed downplayed her threat.
“It is normal in an alliance to remain together in certain elections and to fight separately in certain elections,” Ahmed, who is in charge of the Congress affairs in West Bengal, told IANS.
He said the two parties had also contested the earlier panchayat polls separately.
The state Congress called the decision a “betrayal” and said Trinamool must remember people had voted for the alliance and not Banerjee’s party.
Banerjee also said the alliance with the Congress at the centre would remain only “so long we are treated with respect and dignity”.
The threats from its two allies are likely to take away from the Congress leadership’s present focus to shore up image of the government and strengthen the party’s organisational structure.
The NCP and Trinamool Congress are major constituents of the UPA government.
The UPA is in the middle of a vice presidential election and the government has to gear up for the forthcoming monsoon session of parliament.
With less than two years left for the next general elections, the government is yet to deliver on its key promise of food security bill. It is also yet to get the ticklish Lokpal bill passed in parliament.
BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi took a dig at the Congress over its troubles and said the party could not follow the successful path of running alliance shown by National Democratic Alliance government.
Naqvi said the UPA government was ignoring national problems like drought and inflation, and was instead worried about troubles from allies and the presidential and vice presidential elections.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari said in Nagpur that the UPA was a sinking ship and allies were about to desert it.
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- NCP to stay in UPA but attend no function, skips PM's dinner (Roundup) - Jul 23, 2012
- Maharashtra Congress goes into huddle over NCP's stance - Jul 23, 2012
- Congress, NCP ally to dislodge saffron combine from BMC - Jan 11, 2012
- Pawar meets Sonia to discuss 'coalition issues' - Jul 20, 2012
- Sangma is candidate of communal forces: NCP (Lead) - Jun 21, 2012
- Presidential poll: Congress' prospects brighten, Pranab leads race - May 06, 2012
- PM willing to talk to NCP 'on any issue' (Lead) - Jul 25, 2012
- Congress, NCP stand-off ends with decision on better coordination (Roundup) - Jul 25, 2012
- UPA coordination committee to meet Aug 8 (Lead) - Aug 06, 2012
- NCP unhappy in Maharashtra also - Jul 21, 2012
- Pawar, NCP leaders meet Pranab Mukherjee - Jul 23, 2012
- UPA coordination panel holds first meeting - Aug 09, 2012
- Sangma appeals to NDA allies for support (Lead) - Jun 21, 2012
Tags: agriculture minister, alliance government, bharatiya janata party, chavan, congress ncp, congress president sonia gandhi, coordination meetings, industries minister, manmohan, manmohan singh, nationalist congress party, praful patel, prime minister manmohan, prime minister manmohan singh, progressive alliance, sharad pawar, support sources, trinamool congress, tripathi, west bengal