In Kerala, a septuagenarian leader wanted his son to don the mantle at the cost of the party and was willing to break the party to show his superiority. Another leader presumed that her new-found love for Eelam would make the people to forget her earlier stand and that she would be given votes unequivocally. Yet another leader presumed that he could make his side the winner and put a premium on his association, not to speak of the one who shouted from the rooftop that he was the sole custodian of the Dravidian spirit.
Senior Congress leaders are meeting with key pre-poll partners, the Trinamool Congress and the DMK, on distribution of Cabinet berths.Both parties are reportedly eying plum portfolios and more ministries. The market of bargain has started.
A tussle is reportedly on wresting the Railway Ministry, held by RJD chief Lalu Prasad who is unlikely to find a berth in Manmohan Singh's second innings. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is eyeing the Railway portfolio as also the DMK.
Singh was appointed Prime Minister on Wednesday for a second consecutive term after the UPA coalition staked its claim to form the government with the backing of 322 MPs. Swearing-in is to take place on May 22.
In view of the comfortable numbers the coalition has in the 543-member Lok Sabha, the President has not asked the Prime Minister to prove his strength in the House. Parliament is likely to be convened on June two.
Post-election, the Samajwadi Party, the RJD, the BSP and other parties are only too eager to give unconditional support to the UPA government. A lion’s share of the media space and time are taken up by the allies and supporting parties seeking cabinet berths.
With the Prime Minister due to be sworn in on Friday, all sides are working overtime to first finalise the share of parties in the Council of Ministers and then decide on the portfolios. In all likelihood, the Prime Minister will be sworn in with only a few Cabinet-level Ministers representing the key allies, and the full Council of Ministers will be in place later.
Is it not time to enact the right to recall to pull back candidates for non-performance and those who switch alliances post-election. Only then will our political parties learn to respect the people’s mandate.