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Cong-SP alliance a mid-air crash?

Chaotic scenes disrupting the governor’s address in the assembly have become a tradition in Uttar Pradesh.

india Updated: Feb 10, 2009 23:43 IST
Sunita Aron

Chaotic scenes disrupting the governor’s address in the assembly have become a tradition in Uttar Pradesh.

Hardly any governor in the last two decades has been able to deliver his complete address. Most times he reads the first and last paragraphs of his speech and stops, because he can no longer be heard in the din the MLAs are creating. So it’s not surprising that Governor T.V. Rajeswar did the same.

The BSP MLAs rose to the governor’s defence. The Congress MLAs, however, faced a piquant situation – being in the opposition and in alliance with the SP, they could hardly defend the governor. But since the governor was a handpicked choice of the UPA government at the Centre, they could join their SP colleagues.

Thus what occurred inside the assembly was an extension of the political brawl between the SP and the Congress outside it. In Delhi, Amar Singh called the governor a ‘stooge of the BSP’. In Lucknow, Mulayam Singh Yadav questioned the Congress’s credibility. Both hinted at a hidden understanding between the BSP and the Congress, even as it was supposed to be in seat-sharing talks with the SP.

“SP leaders have criminal cases against them,” said a Congress leader. “We strongly suspect the only reason they joined the UPA alliance was to get the Centre’s support in dealing with these cases. Once they have got what they want, they may well dump us immediately.”

The SP is clear about its political plans. It’s the Congress that seems to be at the crossroads. The rank and file is impatient now that the poll bugle has already been sounded. It’s time the Congress chose between ‘untrustworthy’ poll partner like the Samajwadi Party and facing the electorate independently. It’s a choice between the devil and the deep sea.