President poll: Cong-TMC deal in the offing?
Posted on: 01:44 PM IST May 03, 2012
New Delhi: Congress leader Renuka Choudhury insists that Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee seeking a bailout to support the presidential nominee is not arm-twisting but a part of 'give-and-take' required in coalition politics.
But government sources are worried that a concession to Mamata may lead to similar demands from other states including Bihar which too has asked for a bailout package.The West Bengal Chief Minister is in Delhi and is expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday to discuss the financial bailout for the state. Sources said that Mamata is also likely to meet UPA Chief Sonia Gandhi.Mamata wants a financial bailout package for West Bengal and has given a 15-day deadline, which ends this Sunday, to the UPA to accept her demand for a three-year moratorium on Bengal's outstanding loans, inherited from the Left Front government.Mamata has been pointing out that her government has inherited a debt burden of loans adding up to over Rs 2,00,000 crore by the Left government, and says she cannot pay salaries to government employees or carry out any development work. Meanwhile, the Congress is being cautious as it wants her support during the Presidential polls. Sources said that Mamata does not favour APJ Abdul Kalam but is open to other names. Mamata may support Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee or Vice-President Hamid Ansari for the Presidents post, sources added.The UPA has been reaching out to its allies over the past few days to build a consensus on the matter.Mamata is also likely to discuss the contentious NCTC Act before the Chief Ministers meet on Saturday. She will also make an appearance in Parliament on Thursday afternoon.She will also meet External Affairs Minister SM Krishna at on the Teesta River Water sharing deal with Bangladesh. Mamata has been opposing the deal.