Congress sees new political game after elections

The Congress is foreseeing a different political game after the Tamil Nadu and West Bengal Assembly elections expected early next year while in Andhra Pradesh, one of the strongest states the Congress has in the south, the central leadership is giving three months’ time to new chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy to see how will he

overcome the challenges. The Congress is sending out clear signals to the allies — DMK and the Trinamul Congress — that it wants to share power if the two parties win the elections.
This is because it realised that DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi and Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee cannot for next governments on their own. Mr Karunanidhi has so far succeeded to keeping the Congress out of power in Tamil Nadu despite his government completely depending on the support of the Congress.
Besides, the 2G controversy and the power struggle within the DMK placed the Congress in a comfortable position to bargain. “Moreover, Jayalaithaa’s offer to back the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre if it the leaves the DMK has made the Congress comfortable,” felt party insiders. The DMK is growing isolated in the UPA on the Raja issue and cannot even switch over to the BJP-led NDA because the latter has been attacking the PM behind the 2G scam issue.
“They are not even asking for the telecom ministry after A. Raja was dropped from the Cabinet despite the portfolio allocation was made as per the power-sharing formula between the Congress and its allies,” they pointed out. But if Mr Karunanidhi manages to retain power in the state then the DMK will not only ask the telecom ministry back, but could become aggressive and ask for more, they said.
The Trinamul Congress too will not remain silent if Ms Mamata Banerjee comes to power in West Bengal. Her prime objective is to merge the West Bengal Congress into her party.
Andhra Pradesh could be most unstable politically in the coming days because of different factors, including the demand of a separate Telangana state. “This issue has already divided political parties.” Now it all depends how chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy will handle the situation and face political challenges from the TDP and other parties, they said.

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