Has Left’s exit hurled government into choppy waters?

July 10th, 2008 - 3:25 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) Has the acrimonious withdrawal of support by the Communists landed the Congress-led government in choppy waters? Some Congress leaders and political analysts think so. Amid warnings of an unsteady future now that the Samajwadi Party is backing the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, some ministers insist that a resurgent Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh will keep the Samjawadi Party on a tight leash.

“With Mayawati (BSP leader and Uttar Pradesh chief minister) in fury, the Samajwadi Party has no option other than to support the UPA government and the Congress,” a senior cabinet minister told IANS.

“Mulayam Singh and his party are on the run in Uttar Pradesh,” the minister added. “The Samajwadi Party needs to have Sonia Gandhi (Congress president) and Ajit Singh (Rashtriya Lok Dal chief) on the same podium for survival in the state.”

Political analysts are less charitable in their reading of the Samajwadi Party.

“The UPA government has entered a rough phase. The Samajwadi Party will play proxy for others. The Left parties never had a personal agenda. But the Samajwadi Party will bat for influential corporate houses,” political analyst G.V.L. Narasimha Rao told IANS.

“They have already demanded policy changes such as a windfall tax on profits,” he added.

Some Congress leaders concede that their new allies are a “different kettle of fish” from the ideologically inspired Communists, who kept the government going for four and a half years.

“The question of a comparison between the Samajwadi Party and the Left should not even arise,” said a Congress minister.

The DMK, an ally of the UPA in Tamil Nadu, is optimistic that the Samajwadi Party will behave.

“It was the same Samajwadi Party which lend support to the UPA government in 2004. We did not have any difference of opinion with them,” said DMK MP S.S. Palanimanickam.

“We had earlier worked with the Samajwadi party when the Deve Gowda government was in power,” he added.

Although senior Congress leaders have claimed they will win a vote of confidence in parliament, some Congress leaders are not so confident about the future.

After burying the hatchet with the Congress, Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh has repeatedly hit out at Petroleum Minister Murli Deora and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram for pursuing policies that he says were fuelling inflation and price rise.

“The government and the prime minister will address these concerns,” Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said, when asked how the government would tackle such criticism against its ministers.

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