Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Is UPA really stable???

DMK chief M Karunanidhi withdraw his support from the Congress-led UPA and its government expressing dismay on India's stand over Sri Lanka at the United National Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Lets take a deep look on the calculations affected by this withdraw and other possibilities also.

Let us focus on the number game. The majority mark for government's survival is 272. With DMK's 18 MPs, UPA had a total of 248 members, and it had the outside support of 59 (SP - 22, BSP - 21, RJD - 4, JD (S) - 3 and Independents - 9), making it a total of 307, which is well over the majority mark. Now let us take the 18 MPs of DMK out. That would bring UPA down to 230, but with the outside support of 59, it would still be 289, which is well over the safety mark.

Let us take a wide view to the other scenarios that have unfolded in the last few days. Wooing of Nitish/JD (U) by the Congress and the hot and cold relationship between the Congress and Mulayam, exacerbated by the offensive remarks made by Congress minister Beni Prasad Verma against the SP chief.

First of all, as TK Arun wrote the other day - Nitish’s Delhi rally – bluster of a desperate politician, Nitish is not to be taken seriously, for this is his own posturing with the 2014 elections in mind. He has of course, also said he will support anyone who gives  special status to Bihar. What if Modi were to make that commitment? In any case, if DMK leaves and JD(U) comes to UPA, the number would be 230 plus 20 plus 59 outside support, making it 309. So its not just safe, but stronger! But this is an unlikely scenario.
The only threat, therefore, is if Nitish decides not to support UPA and Mulayam pulls out his 22 MPs. That would bring the outside support to 37 and the UPA's own strength, minus DMK, to 230, making it a total of 267, which is 5 short of majority.
If we get back to the last year only UPA has lost five parties and 41 MP's from the UPA alliance. By this speculation UPA desperately need mulayam and maya's hand for UPA. In last year TMC-19 and DMK -18 and VCk-1 AIMIM- 1 and PMK- 1. Mulayam and maya can can ring a bell of danger for UPA.
But given Mulayam's track record, this situation may not arise at all. Already there are reports that SP has cooled down due to some behind the scene deliberations. If push comes to shove, Beni can be removed and 'accommodated' elsewhere.
In any case, even if Mulayam sticks to his gun this time and JD (U) is not game, the likelihood of the government 'managing' the support of 5 is more likely than anything else.
In all this, though, some, like Laloo, may be seeing a silver lining. He has been harbouring hopes of making it to the government for a while. With DMK ministers out, he may yet make a comeback.
Of course, pandering to allies' whims will now reach levels unheard of. So, you can perhaps bid goodbye to sane policy decisions.

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