Friday, May 22, 2009

Who wants to be a 'Minister'

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Just when the people of the country and the markets were breathing a sigh of relief having voted a stable government there are first sign of trouble. The friction has started even before Manmohan Singh assumes office as the 18th Prime Minister of India. The reason well the most expected one 'ministerial berths'. After fighting the election as a part of Congress led collation all the UPA partners want a share of the pie.

The DMK is at loggerheads with the Congress over the number of ministries it wants to hold in the Union Cabinet. DMK had demanded as many as 8 Cabinet berths for itself which is unacceptable to the Congress. The Congress is riding on the confidence that it can form a government at the centre without the help of the DMK which need to bow down to save its government in Tamil Nadu which survives on Congress' support. In a scenario where DMK and Congress part ways Jayalalitha will not waste a minute in holding Congress' HAND.

Who says Congress alone promotes dynasty politics DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi wanted to have his son M K Azhagiri, daughter Kanimozhi and grand nephew Dayanadhi Maran in the Union Cabinet which was agreed upon by the Congress. The bone of contention has been the name of TR Baalu former Cabinet minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways. The Congress wants to keep him away for his corrupted background.

Sharad Pawar's dream of becoming the Prime Minister will remain unfulfilled. This time with Rahul making 'ekla chalo' as the buzz word in state elections means that the Maratha leader is at the mercy of the Congress. He is likely to hold Food and Agriculture Ministry while his party colleague Praful Patel will get Civil Aviation.

Mamata Banerjee who holds the second largest number of seats in the pre-poll UPA alliance will surely drive the Indian Railways. Lalu Prasad Yadav's political blunder meant that he isn't getting anything in 'Taatkal' and most likely he isn't even a part of the 'Waiting List'. For the first time Congress and TMC believe Left can be defeated in West Bengal so it won't be surprising if more if goodies are showered upon the MPs from the state with Pranab Mukherjee already getting Finance.

Other partners like the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference, Kerala Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League will have to take whatever elder brother Congress gives them. With the kind of numbers Congress has this time its allies unless united together won't be able to blackmail it anymore. Gone are the Karats, Lalus and Paswans of Manmohan's previous government. The Singh is King finally!


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