In the wake of the poor showing by Congress in Gujarat, the Left parties are asserting themselves, in the expectation that Congress will not be willing to risk a federal general election any time soon. (The next election would not be due till May, 2009, but for months there has been speculation that there would be a snap election.) The US-India nuclear deal, negotiated by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, but opposed by the UPA’s support partners in the Left and thus not yet in effect, would seem to be in trouble.
Excerpts from the Times of India:
Left leaders say that Narendra Modiâ€™s emphatic victory has revived the “communal” threat… And they are confident that Congress may no longer have the stomach for a fight in the face of a renewed challenge from “common enemy” BJP…
Left expects UPA to see the writing on the wall … and dust off the allianceâ€™s commitment document namely the Common Minimum Programme and implement all the promises made…
The Gujarat debacle should lead to better cohesion among UPA partners with allies like Sharad Pawar acknowledging the revived threat of communal polarisation. But this may not necessarily result in Congress having its way as [pre-election, state-party] allies are known to use such situations to demand higher sensitivity to their wishes.
Left, which was already drawing its “wish list”, expects government to listen to its prescriptions seriously rather than chase the chimera of mindless economic reforms and Indo-US nuclear deal.
Interesting time to be following coalition politics and elections in India