The Congress' biggest and most troublesome ally, Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, yet again left the UPA managers red-faced on Thursday by insisting on its amendments to make the lokayukta more federal in character.
And in the process, Banerjee managed to worsen the numbers crisis that the ruling combine is facing in the Rajya Sabha.
Trinamool sources told Hindustan Times that soon after the party voted for the bill in Lok Sabha, Banerjee expressed her unhappiness to some leaders.
The Trinamool leadership immediately blamed the "lack of communication" between the MPs and the party bosses and wanted to "rectify" the stand in the Rajya Sabha.
After forcing the suspension of the FDI in retail policy and the pension bill, the partial opposition to the lokpal bill was the third jolt Banerjee has delivered to the UPA even though her government received a whopping Rs 8,750-crore special package early this month.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Bansal's efforts to convince the Trinamool supremo failed, as her Upper House representative, Sukhendu Shekhar Roy, announced: "Our leader Mamata Banerjee told us to oppose the bill's lokayukta provisions."
Trinamool's shift was a setback for the government, as it is working overtime to show its united face against the Opposition onslaught and ridicule.
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley harped on this rift and supported Trinamool's stand on the lokayukta issue.
While Mamata Banerjee is not supportive of Anna Hazare's movement, she also felt that the bill was aimed at imposing the lokayukta on the states.
"We didn't join the jamboree (Anna Hazare's agitations) outside, but we can't sacrifice federalism," Roy said.