Mamata, Mulayam weigh down on Congress

Mamata, Mulayam weigh down on Congress

Presidential poll twist: Regional satraps call the shots

The Mamata-Mulayam bomb on the Presidential candidates has not just put the Congress in an unenviable position, it has left the ruling UPA coalition even more fragile.

As coalition leader Congress is seen as weak and not in a position to force its decision on the smaller allies, the message that the Mamata Banerjee-Mulayam Singh Yadav duo sought to send on Wednesday was clear- not to mess with allies and friendly parties.

The two regional outfits, the Trinamool Congress and the  Samajwadi Party, riding high on the massive electoral success in their respective states, are clearly in no mood take anything lying down. The decision to put out names, including that of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has been done to make it clear to the Congress that in a coalition, the voice of the smaller parties is as important as that of the largest party.

The Congress, now, can do little but to take the duo’s decision seriously and work on it. It has to ramp up its own decisions quickly, both within the party as well as within the coalition. It can hardly afford to ignore TMC  and SP.

The two parties are key to UPA’s stability, although SP is a supporter from outside. In the Presidential election, the two parties hold the key to the UPA candidate’s success. In the presidential sweepstakes, SP has 6.2 per cent of votes and TMC has 4.4 per cent, out of a total of 10,98,882 votes.

The UPA together has 42 per cent of vote, Opposition NDA 28 per cent and non-UPA, non-NDA parties have 24 per cent. Thus, the vote strength of SP and TMC becomes crucial.

The two regional satraps embarrassed the Congress in no uncertain terms, unless this is what some say match-fixing, that no Congress leader was ready to officially react to the stunning development.  However, some senior leaders said off the record that “changing Manmohan Singh at this juncture was ruled out.”

“ This is fraught with serious consequences and it may even end up with UPA going for mid-term elections. We clearly want to avoid such a situation. Making Singh resign as PM and contest as president is ruled out,” a senior leader added.

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