Millennium Post

Sonia may get govt to offer concessions

After the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's decision to pull out of the government plunged the United Progressive Alliance [UPA] into a crisis, the Congress put a brave face to the media.

Addressing a hurriedly called press conference, the Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said, 'This is the best part of democracy that everyone can express themselves. That's why the UPA was formed. We always considered the TMC as our valuable ally. Despite what Mamata Banerjee has said and till the time a final conclusion is reached, we will consider her our valuable ally.'

Despite these words, the Congress is working overtime to control the damage. Highly placed sources in the Congress said that the party president Sonia Gandhi would intervene in the matter and speak with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. 'Also, the commerce minister Anand Sharma and the urban development minister Kamal Nath will most likely speak with Banerjee in a personal capacity,' added the source.

After Gandhi's decision to mediate directly, the Congress may relent and give in to Banerjee's demands. The government is likely to increase the LPG quota per family as demanded by Banerjee, and cut down the hike in diesel prices. The government may hold on to its position on the FDI in retail.

Sources said that the Congress leaders were in talks with the DMK on the issue, while Lalu Prasad Yadav is in talks with Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party. The Congress leaders are talking with other Samajwadi Party leaders and those in the Bahujan Samaj Party.
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