India : Ruling Alliance Out Of Possible Major Crisis
Sulking minister in the Union cabinet in India and president of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Sharad Pawar on Wednesday turned back from a threatened revolt. The move brought a sense of relief in the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), even though Pawar's maneuver did not assume the proportion it had promised.
Praful Patel, Union Minister for Heavy Industries and a senior NCP leader told media persons in New Delhi that a mechanism is being evolved to ensure more consultation between allies for "cohesive functioning” of the government. “The meeting which took between Pawar, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has put a full stop to all differences in last few days,” Patel said. He said that both Congress and NCP will remain together till elections for parliament in 2014.
He read out a statement by Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh that a decision has been taken that the alliance partners will meet at least once a month “to discuss policies and other issues”.
Both Pawar and Patel had skipped the last cabinet meeting and were also not attending their offices. So much so that Pawar had tendered his resignation as Union Minister for Agriculture one day after the parliament and legislature members voted to elect new President of India. The reason given by Pawar was that alliance partners are not given enough respect in the Congress-led UPA.
The development has brought relief for UPA which is going to one after another crisis like scams, corruption allegations and arm twisting tactics from the alliance partners. Pawar's rebellion posture vexed the alliance managers because of his clout. Even though NCP has only 9 members in the lower house of parliament, Lok Sabha, Pawar has considerable clout among other political parties.
Also, Congress-NCP share the government in Maharashtra, Pawar's home state and one of the most prosperous states in the country. Had the partnership broken in the centre, it would have affected the relations in Maharashtra as well. Ever since Pawar tendered his resignation on July 20, political equations are swinging like pendulum in the state. The full stop at the Union level means full stop on discussion on these prospects as well.
Tags: India , Politics , Maharashtra , Congress , NCP
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