UPA, Congress optimistic of support from other parties

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 10, 2012 15:10 hrs

The ruling Congress Party and the UPA-II Government seemed upbeat on Wednesday about the continuance of external support from other like-minded outfits such as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla stated this here on Wednesday.

He was reacting to the suspense over the issue of the BSP withdrawing its support from the outside for the government as a mark of protest against certain economic policies declared and pursued by the Congress party-led ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

Earlier in the day, the national convention of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati said that her party's national executive had asked her to take the final decision on extending external support to the UPA regime.

The government has faced waves of criticism over its decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail sector.

As a result of fallout with coalition partners, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) walked out of the government.

This crisis also hit the UPA government's ties with other supporters such as the BSP and the Samajwadi Party, which have also gone vocal about their resentment over the issue.

In the backdrop of these developments, Shukla expressed hope for the BSP's sustained support to the government.

He contended that ideological differences, if any, would be sorted out.

"I would ask our supporting parties that if there are any differences on any policies and matters then we would try to explain all the aspects and convince them so that all misunderstandings can wither away," said Shukla.

Another senior Congress party leader and lawmaker Jagdambika Pal termed the BSP's delay in pronouncing its decision as a sign of the continuation of support to the government.

He shared his views with the media in Lucknow.

He said the suspense over BSP's support was a rumor.

"It is now clear that it was a rumor whether the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) after its rally may rethink about relationship with the Congress on the issue of coalition politics; now it is evident that the BSP's support for the Congress-led UPA (United Progressive Alliance) would continue. The BSP has always extended external support. Since they were supporting us from outside, it is but natural that there might have been differences on certain issues," said Pal.

In Vadodara, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)leader and federal lawmaker Praful Patel said parties like the Samajwadi Party and the BSP would not do anything that would lead to collapse of the government.

The NCP is a coalition partner of the government.

"As it is, the UPA Government enjoys the majority. Besides this, as far as the BSP and the Samajwadi Party (SP) are concerned, they have also always supported the government. I believe that, be it Samajwadi Party or the BSP, they would never do anything that would lead to collapse of the government," said Patel.

The government while declaring the FDI in retail sector said that state governments would have the liberty to decide whether to allow foreign supermarket chains to enter.

The Congress party-led government hopes this will take the sting out of opposition from regional parties who say the policy will destroy jobs.

The first set of reforms announced in September did boost the rupee, which partly recovered from a sharp drop in value this year, but India's central bank says more action is needed to save the budget and reduce inflation.

The supermarket policy based on FDI was first announced in 2011 but a political backlash forced the government to put the measure on hold. (ANI)

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