Delhi: Amid strains in ties between Congress and Trinamool Congress,
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will host a dinner for United Progressive
Alliance (UPA) constituents in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The dinner was originally scheduled for Monday but it has now been
postponed till Tuesday, sources said. Singh has invited leaders of UPA
constituents for the dinner to be held at his residence, they said.
Meanwhile, the Congress also made an attempt to reach out to the Samajwadi
Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for support needed for the
passage of several key bills in Parliament.
The dinner by the prime minister for UPA allies comes in the backdrop of
Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee
making common cause with non-Congress chief ministers on some issues,
including FDI in retail and NCTC, and keeping the government on
tenterhooks on her approach to non-UPA parties. Trinamool is the second
largest constituent of UPA.
Banerjee was invited by Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal for
the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday and had earlier accepted this, a
move seen as building pressure on the government.
However, she has now relented and decided to send some representatives of
her party to the event. Her change in decision comes after Congress said
on Sunday one should not cross the 'Laxman rekha' of 'coalition dharma'.
There have been murmurs of formation of a Third Front ever since Samajwadi
Party won Uttar Pradesh polls.
However, Uttar Pradesh chief minister-designate Akhilesh Yadav on Monday
said there is no move as of now to form such a front and termed his
invitation to West Bengal and Tamil Nadu chief ministers for his
swearing-in ceremony as part of established traditions.
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