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Vote throws up unusual alliances

The acrimonious parting of ways between the Congress and Left, which forced the government to seek a trust vote, is now resulting in changing political equations, reports Nagendar Sharma.

delhi Updated: Jul 24, 2008 23:41 IST
Nagendar Sharma

The acrimonious parting of ways between the Congress and Left, which forced the government to seek a trust vote, is now resulting in changing political equations with new friendships coming up in many states ahead of the general elections.

WEST BENGAL: The Left’s 30-year uninterrupted rule showed first real signs of cracks during the recent local bodies’ polls. The Trinamool Congress of the maverick Mamata Banerjee made substantive gains in rural areas.

The state Left leaders nervously tracked the Delhi developments. Reason being their withdrawal of support was directly linked to Bengal in terms of political realignment. As Left severed ties with the Congress, decks have been cleared for a Congress-Mamata alliance. In first indications, Mamata abstained from the trust vote.

ANDHRA PRADESH: The Congress had hoped to get its former ally, the TRS, on board for the trust vote. However, not only did the TRS spurn the offers, it threw a major surprise by turning up at the meetings of the UNPA and shared the stage with the TDP, a known critic of a separate Telangana state.

The sudden love for TDP is being described by TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao as a “political necessity to defeat the Congress during the next elections and seek revenge for its treachery”.

Tamil Nadu: Ruling DMK, which formed a grand alliance with Congress, Left, PMK and MDMK to sweep the 2004 elections, is now struggling to retain the partners. Having lost the MDMK and PMK, the developments in Dehi could well see the Left moving towards Jayalalitha’s AIADMK. The Left has hinted to DMK boss Karunanidhi that they would not be aligning with him, in case he decides to stay with the Congress.

UP & Bihar: Two big states that account for 120 Lok Sabha seats saw major players engaged in poaching MPs and stitching alliances for the general elections.

BSP chief Mayawati having weaned away Ajit Singh’s RLD from the SP, has managed to find an ally in UP, and set the stage for a two-way contest between BSP-RLD alliance and the SP-Congress alliance.

In neighbouring Bihar, UPA partners Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan, who fell out after the 2004 elections, now seem to be on a reconciliatory path. Lalu, stung by the assembly poll defeat, appears willing to consider Paswan’s demand for more seats, who in turn has realised that going alone at a time when CM Nitish Kumar appears to be going strong, may prove a costly mistake.

Assam: The dominant faction of the opposition Asom Gana Parishad, which initially became a part of the fledgling UNPA, is now moving towards the BJP.