New Delhi: Amidst talk of mid-term Lok
Sabha poll following Congress` poor show in Assembly
elections, Congress today sought to reach out to allies by
expressing readiness to walk the extra mile to strenghten
coordination with them.
Ahead of the budget session of Parliament beginning next
week, party spokesman Manish Tewari declared "if at all there
is a need to further energise that communication (with the
allies), Congress is always ready to walk the extra mile."
His remarks at the AICC briefing came close on the heels
of Railway Minister and senior Trinamool Congress leader
Dinesh Trivedi speaking about mid-term polls and dubbing the
union goverment as lame duck in the wake of the polls. After
his remarks caused a flutter in political circles, Dwivedi
undertook a damage control exercise.
Tewari`s remarks came in response was to a question
whether Congress felt the need for a UPA coordination
committee for better relations with allies in the wake of the
He noted all UPA allies are represented in the union
cabinet and that there is already regular interaction with
them. He said government was stable and will complete its full
"Budget cannot and should not be held hostage to
political expediencey., Budget and other attendent
legislations are extremely critical for growth and progress of
"Where the question of larger national interest arises,
there is a need to rise above political and partisan things",
Congress President Sonia Gandhi had spoken in a similar
vein just after the assembly poll verdict expressing the hope
that allies and the opposition will support the people-
oriented measures and government will regularly interact with
Tewari, however, refused to comment on the Railway
Minister`s remark on mid-term polls saying the minister has
clarified on it, after which there is no need for Congress to
comment on it.
Asked whether Congress` defeat in states will affect the
government at the Centre, he said "I think there are take
aways from every electoral cycle. Our performance was not up
to our expectations but unnecessary extrapolation is not
essential. UPA government is strong and stable."
Maintaining that the central government has been given a
mandate to rule for five years and will complete its mandate,
he also took a jibe at the opposition parties.
"Those who in past have repeatedly pointed fingers at us
for destabilising state governments should look at their
conduct," Tewari said.
A senior party leader, speaking separately on condition
of anonymity, said the assembly poll results showed the
resurgence of regional parties is a reality which Congress has
to live with.
The leader at the same time downplayed the talks of
mid-term poll saying no party including the BJP wants
elections right now.
He said UPA allies like NCP and DMK or BSP supporting it
from outside will not like an election in existing
circumstances and such a possibility will not arise.
Asked about the Lokpal bill, which could not be passed in
Rajya Sabha due to opposition by Trinamool Congress and the
Opposition, Tewari said though Congress does not have full
majority in the Upper House it was hopeful that the Opposition
will support the bill if it is serious in fighting corruption.
He indicated the government could try to pass the bill in
Rajya Sabha in the coming session saying "we want to pass it
as soon as possible".