Congress survives Pawar Storm in UPA II
TNI Bureau: The rift in the coalition government was open when the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and party member Praful Patel offered to quit from the Union Cabinet a week ago. Pawar was reportedly upset with the UPA for not being made the No. 2 leader in the government after Pranab Mukherjee was elevated as President of India.
The NCP-Congress face off was only for the number two slot in the government that Pawar’s colleague was holding. Even though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made it clear that Pawar plays an important role in the coalition government, the NCP was not satisfied with such compliment.
The key ally of Congress, which had been watching the political developments in the government since 2009, broke its silence to bring the Congress on its knees. It alleged that Congress is not following the coalition dharma properly.
The Congress swung into action after Pawar raised the pitch. Congress President Sonia Gandhi intervened to calm him down. After meeting Sonia and Manmohan today, Pawar finally decided to stay with the UPA. The Congress and NCP agreed on a mechanism to take strengthen the coalition. NCP sought more power, voice and clarity within the government and asked the Congress to give more importance to its allies.