Equations may shift at Centre; fingers pointed at Paswan

New Delhi,Nov 22 | Updated: Nov 23 2005, 05:30am hrs
A possible realignment of equations within the UPA could crystallize in the coming days even as government managers on Tuesday ruled out any serious repercussions on the government in the wake of the Bihar poll debacle.

That the poll outcome, however, did carry the potential to have its own implications on the UPA and the Manmohan Singh government became apparent when stray demands to review the continuation of Ram Vilas Paswan in the secular fold were raised today.

Notably, some senior Congress leaders as well as the CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury, in their initial reactions, asserted that the secular vote got divided in Bihar because of Paswans decision to fight as a separate front. Paswans attempt to fish in troubled waters has only isolated him further within the UPA, although it is still not clear as to what his fate would be. He may be in trouble if the demand for his ouster gathers pace in the coming days.

Lalu Yadavs defeat, on the other hand, is being viewed as a blessing in disguise for the Congress and the party-led coalition at the Centre. With the power of the Lantern diminished considerably now that RJD has been ousted out of power in Bihar, the preliminary contention in Congress circles is that Lalu Yadav may not be able to exercise as much influence as he could a year ago.

Formal denials by the ruling party notwithstanding, Congress leaders are of the view that the UPA coalition would now run more smoothly. A possible manifestation of whether the Prime Minister will be able to breathe more easily will be evident when he goes for the long pending reshuffle. Manmohan Singh and his government had suffered most of the problems from the opposition due to the tainted ministers from RJD.