Samajwadi Party, which virtually holds the key to Manmohan Singh government’s survival in the context of the withdrawal of Left’s support, is likely to come up with an expensive wish list.
As the party readies itself for the rescue act, there are clear indications that it may demand changes in the portfolios of Finance Minister P Chidamabram and Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, as well as the scalps of RBI Governor Y V Reddy and India’s Ambassador to the US Ronen Sen. It will also demand that the Women’s Reservation Bill be shelved.
Sources familiar with the thinking in the party said that the removal of Chidambaram, Deora and Reddy was necessary to buffer the party against the incumbency liability UPA has acquired on account of inflation. Sources said that the removal of the troika responsible for mismanagement of the economy would help the party deal better with the criticism that its turnaround on the deal was opportunistic.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party and Congress stepped up their efforts for an early conclusion of their pact on the nuclear deal, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh swiftly complying with SP’s demand for a public statement to allay the apprehensions on the controversial India-US agreement.