In the past six months, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is the second biggest UPA constituent after the Trinamool Congress to have parted ways with the Congress.
While the DMK and the Congress had come together in 2004, the Trinamool Congress had come to the UPA fold just before the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
The party also shares blow-hot blow-cold relations with Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
The exit of one ally after the other, has put a big question mark on the future of the UPA and the ability of the Congress to keep its flock together in the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
“I think this is the beginning of the end of UPA II. The fact that two major parties have left UPA is a sign of crisis of legitimacy and credibility for the Congress,” said Prof Zoya Hasan of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.
“Probably, these parties think that Congress has lost the goodwill of the people over the issues of corruption, governance and inflation,” she added.
The Congress has come a long way since 1998 when it had decided to avoid alliance politics so that its basic ideology is not compromised. It has been running a
coalition government for nine uninterrupted years at the Centre since 2004.
Though the DMK’s departure will not have any bearing on the stability of the UPA government, it has increased the Congress party’s dependence on outside supporters Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party with 22 and 21 MPs respectively.
However, a section in the Congress feels that the DMK will return to the UPA fold, given that the AIADMK is in saddle in Tamil Nadu, and it doesn’t stand to gain much in the state.
“I am not sure if DMK is going to be a gainer. For DMK, the withdrawal is very much about restoring its primacy in Tamil Nadu on Tamil platform which is now occupied by AIADMK,” Hasan said.