Nervous PM invites UPA allies for dinner
New Delhi: Amid fissures in the UPA and speculations for mid-term polls, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will host a dinner for UPA constituents on Tuesday.
The dinner, which was originally scheduled for today has been postponed till tomorrow and will be held at PM’s official residence -- 7, Race Course road.
PM’s invitation to UPA allies comes in the backdrop of Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee keeping the government on tenterhooks by making common cause with the non-UPA parties on a range of issues.
Trinamool which has 18 MPs in Lok Sabha is the second largest constituent of UPA.
Banerjee was invited by SAD leader Parkash Singh Badal and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav for their swearing-in as Chief Ministers of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh respectively. This gave a momentum to the talks of a possible Third Front.
The West Bengal Chief Minister, who first accepted the invitation later relented and decided to send her emissaries to the event.
The change in Mamata’s stance came after Congress said that one should not cross the “Laxman rekha” of “coalition dharma”.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister-designate Akhilesh Yadav said there was no move as of now to form a Third Front and termed his invitation to West Bengal and Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers for his swearing-in ceremony as part of “established traditions”.
The going for UPA appears tough as the Parliament is in session since today to pass the budget for fiscal 2012-13. The budget session is also expected to witness huge uproar over issues like Lokpal, FDI, inflation and NCTC.
The mauling Congress in the recently concluded Assembly polls has triggered the talks of midterm polls.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh brushed aside speculation of a mid-term poll and expressed confidence that the UPA government would complete its term as it has the needed numbers.
"I think dealing with pressure is part of the parliamentary life. I am confident that we have all the numbers that are needed," Manmohan Singh told reporters.
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