A space war in Indian Parliament

Last Updated: Wed, Jul 29, 2009 11:44 hrs

New Delhi: An undeclared space war with a difference is going on inside the Indian Parliament.

Cut to size by the electorate in the 2009 parliamentary elections, many a political big wigs of yesteryears is today literally fighting for space in the Parliament House.

Former Railway Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, for instance, has managed to retain a seat in the front row in the Lok Sabha, only courtesy Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

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But he faces a more formidable task in retaining his party's office in the Parliament House, which has been allotted to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).  As his party has joined hands with Malayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, he can expect no such favour from BSP supremo and UP Chief Minister, Mayawati.

A party needs eight Lok Sabha MPs to have an office on the Parliament House premises -- Lalu Prasad has just four. Mayawati has 21 seats and is not known to giving up what is rightfully hers.
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RJD sources confirmed that some BSP members had visited the party office on the third floor to consider changes in the interior.

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 â€œThey were looking at the walls, perhaps thinking where the portrait of Mayawati will be placed," a senior RJD leader said. For now though, portraits of Lalu Prasad and a smiling Rabri Devi adorn the office wall.

Like Lalu Prasad, former JS (S) leader and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda is also looking up to the Congress president and UPA Chairperson for a seat in the front row.

The UPA has got a chunk of 10 of the 20 front seats. Therefore, it is for the Congress leadership to see if it wants to accommodate him in the alliance quota because his party is backing the UPA regime.

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Though he has got a seat in the front row by virtue of being the leader of a group of 23 MPs, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is uncomfortable with the idea of sitting next to BSP floor leader Dara Singh Chauhan and both have been allotted the same bench.

He had actually been planning to sit next to CPM leader Basudeb Acharia. However, Acharia, being in the Opposition, is set to find a place close to JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav. And Mulayam being the leader of a supporting party, is likely to get a front seat next to the leader of another supporting party.

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