Hiccups in new Congress-Samajwadi Party friendship (Political Prattle)

July 3rd, 2008 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) Burying the hatchet with an adversary of the past is not easy, and Congress leaders are realising this even before the ink has dried on its new parchment of friendship with the Samajwadi Party. Rubbishing talk of a wish list given by the Samajwadi Party to 10 Janpath, a senior Congress leader retorted: “The list has been given to the media, not to (party president) Sonia Gandhi.”

“I wish the Samajwadi Party had added the name of Shivraj Patil to the list of union ministers it would like Sonia Gandhi to drop from the cabinet!” he quipped.

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Mulayam saving party’s skin?

Whatever his public posture may be, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, in closed-door meetings with the Left, has laid bare his real compulsions for supporting the Congress.

Haunted by the Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) victories in Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh is clutching at the Congress as his last straw of hope to shore up his own party’s strength.

All the talk about the nuclear deal was just a camouflage, Mulayam has apparently admitted to the Left. “Mulayam has told us in private that the BSP would finish them if he did not ally with the Congress. The nuclear deal was never an issue for him,” said a Left leader.

The irony in all this is the Congress is a much weaker force than the Samjawadi Party in Uttar Pradesh.

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Prakash Karat stood firm

The anti-Buddhadeb Bhatacharjee lobby within the Left parties has been secretly gloating after the Left stood firm on withdrawing support for the United Progressive Alliance government over the India-US deal.

“Neither Buddhadeb nor Sitaram Yechury wanted the government to exit at this point of time. It was Prakash Karat who saved the prestige of the Left,” said a Left leader.

The Left leaders concede that they stand in “splendid political isolation” at the moment. “But at least we took a stand. And we have to thank Prakash Karat for it,” said a Left leader.

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