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After DMK's withdrawal and SP's threat, UPA may woo Nitish, Mamata

CNN-IBN
Mar 26, 2013 at 08:35am IST

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New Delhi: The crisis within the UPA seems to be taking new turns each day. With Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav threatening to withdraw support, the government is now looking for new allies. Its best option is JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who has been demanding special status for Bihar. Sources say the government is also willing to give Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee a second chance.

The two leaders appear to be immediate beneficiaries with uncertainty at the Centre. Top government sources indicate to CNN-IBN that the Centre will shortly review backward criteria for states and may meet Bihar's long-standing demand for the special category status, something which the Bihar Chief Minister underscored at his massive rally in Delhi only last week.

ALSO SEE UPA may meet Bihar's special status demand: Sources

Government sources indicate that it has been decided to review and change the criteria of backward states. Bihar, parts of Rajasthan, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand could now be covered under the new parameter.

The government indicated that the existing criteria of backwardness like 'Hilly State' is now obsolete. The new criteria will take socio-economic factors into account.

ALSO SEE Mulayam may ditch UPA, join regional parties, form Third Front: Sources

In addition to all this, the Finance Commission may give relief to debt-ridden states. The Finance Commission award may provide relief for Mamata Banerjee as West Bengal reels under a huge debt.

All these developments come amidst growing bitterness between Mulayam Singh Yadav and the Congress, especially after the DMK withdrew from the UPA and the SP leader taking the cue set out to revive his Third Front agenda. With the UPA approaching the last year of its five-year term, new alignments are at work as political parties posture and position themselves in preparations for the next Lok Sabha polls.

This is how Manmohan Singh's UPA stands currently:

Total - 539

UPA - 232

Half-way mark - 270

Congress - 202

NCP - 9

Others - 21

Outside Support - 49

TMC - 19

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