The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) managers are working overtime to resolve the crisis that has erupted after the Nationalist Congress Party decided to abstain from the Cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Amid rumours of resignation by the his party’s ministers from the Cabinet, the NCP supremo, Mr Sharad Pawar, met the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the UPA chairperson, Ms Sonia Gandhi. Mr Pawar is learnt to have given a communication detailing his party’s observations on the UPA Government.

Sources in the NCP said the communication was keeping in view of the next general elections.

“There are no specific points in it,” a senior NCP leader said. The party has told the Prime Minister and the UPA Chairperson that the Government’s performance had to be improved at any cost. Mr Pawar is also learnt to have told the UPA leadership that co-ordination between the Government and the alliance will have to be improved.

The NCP has complained to the UPA leadership that certain key decisions by the Government were communicated to them after they were taken by a few Congress leaders. “Congress is yet to learn the basic manners of running a coalition,” the NCP leader added.

An NCP meeting on Monday will discuss the future steps.

The Heavy Industries Minister, Mr Praful Patel, said Mr Pawar was not upset because he was denied the “number-two” position in the Cabinet. Blaming the Congress for spreading canards against the NCP, he said completely different issues were raised at the meetings with the Prime Minister and the Congress chief.

However, there is a feeling in the NCP that the UPA is not able to use his “experience” as consultations are not taking place in the alliance or in the Government.

The Congress, meanwhile, has started taking efforts to placate the NCP.

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh said Mr Pawar was a “very valued” colleague, whose knowledge, wisdom and experience were a great asset to the Government. The Congress said all issues will be sorted out through discussions.

jigeesh.am@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 20, 2012)
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