Pranab admits to problems of coalition
Mukherjee, one of the most senior leaders in the Congress, however brushed aside the challenge of the opposition.delhi Updated: May 18, 2010 21:09 IST
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday admitted to problems in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition.
"There are problems of coalition that cannot be denied," Mukherjee told Times Now television channel days before the second edition of UPA regime completes its first year in office.
The minister said that one advantage Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had in the first five years of UPA rule (2004-09) was that the government had the support of a solid 60-member Left bloc.
Now, he pointed out, the four pre-election allies of the Congress came far behind the dominant ruling party in the number of seats they hold in the fractured Lok Sabha.
"UPA-I had the advantage of 60 MPs of the Left supporting us. In UPA-II, the Congress has to depend on several small parties."
Mukherjee, one of the most senior leaders in the Congress, however brushed aside the challenge of the opposition.
"Opposition unity is a misnomer," he said. "It is based on issues, it is not permanent."
Asked about some central ministers who speak out of turn, Mukherjee replied: "We will have to live with Mamata (Banerjee) and (the) Trinamool Congress."
The Congress and Trinamool have failed to reach an understanding for the municipal elections in West Bengal.