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The truth about allies

The relationship between the Congress and its key regional allies is not always smooth. Read on and find out!

india Updated: Dec 09, 2006 01:32 IST

MDMK: The MDMK’s decision to jettison the DMK and join hands with J Jayalalithaa’s  AIADMK in the assembly polls in Tamil Nadu has created a piquant situation: Vaiko’s party sits on the Opposition benches in the state, is invited by Parliamentary Affairs Minister PR Dasmunsi for breakfast meetings with UPA allies to ensure floor coordination in Parliament but is kept at an arm’s length when it comes to UPA functions.

TRS: The TRS quit the UPA on the issue of a separate Telengana state. Former Labour Minister K Chandrashekhara Rao’s impressive victory in the Karimnagar Parliamentary by-polls will now give a handle to other parties, including UPA partners like the NCP, who are likely to back his demand to embarrass the Congress at the Centre.

JMM: There are more questions than answers about the Congress-JMM relations as the regional party faces an uncertain future following Shibu Soren’s conviction and life imprisonment. Will the Congress give Soren’s ministry to another JMM representative? Will the regional party split? Will the JMM remain part of the UPA?

NCP: Sharad Pawar’s party and the Congress share a love-hate relationship. At the Centre, the compulsions of coalition politics ensure that the Congress cannot do much about Pawar’s Agriculture Ministry, notwithstanding issues like price rise and agrarian distress. In Maharashtra, the two are trying to edge each other out in the battle to occupy the political space being created by a divided Shiv Sena and a listless BJP.

DMK: Karunanidhi will play a critical role in the eventuality of the formation of a Third Front. This gives him an edge over the Congress: He got the Centre to give up its plans to disinvest the Neyveli Lignite Corporation and there is speculation that it was the DMK that ensured the PM and Sonia Gandhi’s absence at the unveiling of MGR’s statue in Parliament.

RJD: After Soren and BJP’s Navjyot Singh Sidhu it could be Lalu Yadav’s turn — and of the Congress — to mull over his future with the disproportionate assets case coming up in the Patna High Court. After losing the Bihar assembly polls, Lalu concentrated on rebuilding his and the Indian Railways’ image and even presented a picture of cooperation by giving his consent to the women’s quota bill. Less than 24 hours later, he had to lead a delegation of RJD MPs to meet Pranab Mukherjee with the demand that an all party meeting be convened to evolve a consensus on the issue. Was that a ploy of a sign of his waning influence over his party?