The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), a key UPA constituent, on Wednesday asked its workers to be prepared for a mid-term Lok Sabha election as “there is talk of the BSP withdrawing support”, but the BSP gave a clear indication of not being in a hurry to withdraw its outside support to the Congress-led alliance.
NCP chief and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar told party workers at the national executive meeting in Vadodra: “The political scenario today is such that all parties should be ready to face people and polls.”
“(From) the way parties are reacting to the Centre’s decisions, there is a possibility of mid-term elections. You should be ready for this eventuality.”
Pawar's statement may not have amused the Congress, for which, however, there was some respite from Lucknow. BSP chief Mayawati, who with her 21 Lok Sabha MPs provides crucial support to the UPA government, appeared to have softened her position.
On Tuesday, Mayawati promised to convey her “final decision” in 24 hours on whether to continue support. This, however, did not happen. She said the party had authorised her to take a decision. “The decision will be taken soon ... I will take stock of the prevailing situation before deciding.”
Sources in the BSP interpreted her statement as a clear indication that her support would continue.