Scramble by rivals, independents to support UPA (Second Lead)May 19th, 2009 - 11:26 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) The UPA’s stupendous showing at the hustings has had a cascading effect on its estranged allies and supporters, and even independent MPs. There was a virtual scramble Tuesday by political parties to announce support to the new United Progressive Alliance government.
Arch rivals Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as well as the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) Tuesday vied with each other to offer support to the victorious Congress-led UPA, which needs just nine more MPs to get the 272 figure needed for majority in the 543-member Lok Sabha.
The Bodoland People’s Front, Sikkim Democratic Front and Nagaland People’s Front, each with one MP, wrote to President Pratibha Patil extending their support to the UPA government.
Three Independent MPs from Maharashtra also joined the swelling number of those falling over each other to extend support. Sadashiv Mandlik, who won as Independent candidate from Kolhapur, Raju Shetty, of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana who won from Hatkandagle and Baliram Jadhav, of the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi who won from Palghar, have announced their support.
The Congress, however, is keeping its cards close to the chest, maintaining that it is yet to make up its mind on taking support from the BSP, SP and RJD, which were its rivals in their respective states during the just-concluded general elections.
There is a meeting between the Congress and its “pre-poll allies” Wednesday at 10, Janpath, the residence of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
“We have not made up our mind on the issue. We are meeting our pre-poll allies tomorrow. A decision will be taken only after that,” sources in the Congress party said.
The SP and BSP, which fought elections against the Congress in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere, said they had decided to pledge their support to the UPA to “strengthen secular forces” and to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party out.
The RJD, which Monday said it would offer unconditional support to the UPA, also handed over to President Patil a letter of support Tuesday eveing.
The UPA is short of merely nine MPs to reach the 272 half-way mark in the 543-member House. If SP (23), BSP (20), and JD-S (3) are added to its tally, the UPA will easily cross the 300 mark in the 15th Lok Sabha. The RJD has four seats.
The Samajwadi Party, which contested the elections in alliance with Lok Janshakti Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, was the first to declare its support for UPA. It has just 23 seats this time, down from 36 last time. The BSP has marginally bettered its tally to 21 from 19 last time, while the RJD’s share plummeted from 24 to just four.
SP general secretary Amar Singh Tuesday morning handed over a letter of support for the formation of a Congress-led UPA government under the leadership of Manmohan Singh to President Pratibha Patil. A statement from the president’s office confirmed that the SP leader met Patil and handed over a letter of support for the UPA.
“Manmohan Singh talked to me for support… I have been authorised and directed by party chief Mulayam Singh to offer our support for the formation of a UPA government under the leadership of Dr. Manmohan Singh,” Amar Singh told reporters outside Rashtrapati Bhawan after handing over the letter of support to Patil.
The Congress is not keen to take the support of the SP, which is known for dictating a tough price in the form of ministerial berths and other concessions. Moreover, with the Congress winning 21 seats in Uttar Pradesh and the party top brass working on a long-term strategy to revive the Congress in the Hindi heartland, not many are in favour of accommodating the SP, which is seen as an unreliable customer.
But the party is keeping its lines open with SP and others as the UPA lacks majority in the Rajya Sabha which will help it to push through controversial measures.
Mayawati also announced that her party’s 21 MPs will extend unconditional outside support to the new UPA government at the centre. “The party has agreed to provide outside support to the UPA government without any conditions,” Mayawati told reporters before a meeting of the party’s national executive in Lucknow.
In Banglaore, the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy also announced unconditional support for the UPA. The party has three MPs.
RJD leaders Prem Chand Gupta and Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav handed over a letter of support to the president in the evening, after which BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra did the same.
- Scramble by rivals to support victorious UPA (Lead) - May 19, 2009
- NDA to back Left in parliament over price rise - Nov 20, 2011
- Women's quota bill: Despite opposition, government firm (Lead) - Mar 08, 2010
- All-party meet fails to evolve consensus on women's quota bill (Second Lead) - Jun 22, 2011
- Lokpal bill passage uncertain - Dec 29, 2011
- Women quota bill: BSP, JD-S indicate reservations - Mar 07, 2010
- JD-S to vote for Pranab Mukherjee - Jun 21, 2012
- Lokpal: Congress confident of smooth sail in Rajya Sabha - Dec 28, 2011
- FDI: Government mobilising numbers for adjournment motion, talks to allies (Roundup) - Dec 01, 2011
- Government steps up efforts for consensus on Lokpal - May 11, 2012
- Congress likely to re-nominate Hamid Ansari - Jul 09, 2012
- SP, RJD threaten to withdraw support to government (Lead) - Mar 08, 2010
- Presidential poll: Pranab, Sangma to file papers Thursday - Jun 27, 2012
- Ahead of judgement day, fence-sitters await their time - May 14, 2009
- Third Front parties to meet, but front's revival not on cards - Apr 11, 2010
Tags: alliance government, arch rivals, bharatiya janata party, chairperson, congress party, democratic front, general elections, hustings, independent candidate, independents, jadhav, Lok Sabha, maharashtra, nagaland, president pratibha patil, progressive alliance, rjd, secular forces, sonia gandhi, vikas