Monday, May 16, 2011

DTN News - INDIA NEWS: Sonia Gandhi And Mamata Banerjee Togetherness For Secular Nation

Defense News: DTN News - INDIA NEWS: Sonia Gandhi And Mamata Banerjee Togetherness For Secular Nation
**Mamata looks to cement ties
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - May 16, 2011: By extending invitations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to her swearing-in ceremony, Bengal chief minister-in-waiting Mamata Banerjee wants to cement central support for her government.

There is still an element of uncertainty on whether Congress will join Mamata's government. "We are grateful to Mamata Banerjee for her gracious offer to Congress to join her government, but there is still no consensus within Pradesh Congress Committee on it," PCC general secretary Om Prakash Mishra said in Kolkata on Monday. The final decision would be taken by AICC. Congress has, however, already extended its letter of support to the Mamata Banerjee government.

But Mamata would need the whole-hearted support of the Centre in running her government smoothly, observers said. She took care to go to Delhi to meet the PM and Sonia and personally request them to attend her swearing-in ceremony. However, the PM will not be attending the same and Sonia's presence too is uncertain.

Because of the precarious financial position facing the state, Mamata would need the Centre to bail out her nascent government. Besides, there were other issues like the Darjeeling imbroglio and the on-going joint operations against the Maoists in the state. She would like Delhi to be on her side to find an acceptable solution in Darjeeling without conceding a separate state.

Mamata announced after her victory that she would find a solution to the Maoist problem in Jangalmahal within three months. Whether she attempted to start a dialogue with the Maoists or wanted to reduce the scale of joint operations, she would need the green signal from the Centre.

It would suit her most if Congress joined her government so that there was joint responsibility. Immediately after her victory on May 13, Mamata had invited Congress to join the government. During her meetings with the PM and Sonia on Monday, she extended the invitation again.

PCC sources indicated, however, that some Congress leaders in the state had reservations about joining the government as it would have little say in its running. "With 184 seats, Trinamool has a big majority. Although Congress has also done well in the election, its 42 seats are not significantly large," a PCC leader said. The possibility of Mamata offering Congress insignificant portfolios was also hanging heavy in the minds of PCC leaders. During negotiations for seat-sharing before the polls, some Congress leaders in the state had raised the question of alliance with dignity', but finally, at Sonia's intervention, the tie-up took place on Mamata's terms.

Had Congress been given a better deal in seat-sharing, it could also have done well, he indicated. "The success rate of Trinamool in the election is 80% against the success rate of Congress' 70%," he pointed out. "We were given only 65 seats to contest and we won 42."

A Trinamool source pointed out, however, that the success of the alliance was because of a Mamata wave' and Congress benefitted from it.

*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News



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