New Delhi: It seems that both the Congress and the Trinamool Congress are prepared for a life without each other. While the Congress now hopes that the road to reforms will be easier, the Trinamool Congress has upped the ante asking for the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Ironically, with communication between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Congress having broken down, it is the missed calls which has made it even more bitter.
The Congress has claimed that they made an attempt to reach out to the Trinamool Congress chief, but Banerjee in return has accused it of lying on the issue.
"The Prime Minister tried to speak to the Chief Minister of West Bengal, and left a message to call back. Then Mukul Roy was spoken to and he was requested to pass on the message to the Chief Minister. He said he would. We haven't heard back," said Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
However, Banerjee hit back saying, "Nothing has been informed. There has been no information."
The three years of the relations between Mamata Banerjee and the Congress party have been rocky.
In September 2011, the Trinamool Congress chief had embarrassed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by pulling out of the PM-led delegation to Bangladesh over Teesta river sharing agreement, forcing India to drop it from the agenda.
Later that year in November, a threat by the West Bengal Chief Minister to withdraw support had forced the UPA to roll back fuel prices partially.
During the same period, the Trinamool Congress chief stalled a move by the government to allow 51 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.
The following year in March, Banerjee took on his own party MP, Dinesh Trivedi, who as the Union Railways Minister hiked passenger fare in trains. She forced Trivedi to step down as the Railways Minister in March.
And it was not over for Banerjee, as she went on to oppose anti-terror body, National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), a pet project of then Home Minister P Chidambaram.
Following this, the UPA also faced opposition from the Trinamool Congress chief over selecting Pranab Mukherjee as its candidate for the presidential elections.
Therefore, now that the Congress gets ready for a live-in with the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, it has sent a curt message to Mamata Banerjee by asking party chief ministers to increase the cap of subisidised LPG to nine, and reiterated that there will be no rollback.
However, according to government sources, the Prime Minister will make a last attempt to reach out to the West Bengal before Friday, just to show it has tried, but in a repeat of UPA-1, the Prime Minister seems to have decided that enough is enough and it is time to run the full course.
So where does the UPA government head after its break up with the Trinamool Congress? Will Mulayam Singh Yadav bail out the government or will Mayawati play her card to save them?
The Samajwadi Party chief on Wednesday had some tough words for the government. He said, "The government should get a lesson from this. After all, what has the government given to the people...they cannot deal with this arrogance."
This is like the history repeating itself in less than three months. The Samajwadi Party chief is again playing a high-stake game and keeping everyone guessing. He is the same Mulayam who ditched Mamata Banerjee after a secret deal with the Congress during the presidential elections. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister could well emerge as the saviour of UPA-II after his party takes a final call.
The Congress also appears to think on similar lines with party spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit saying, "SP and BSP have always been with us. They have always given us issue-based support. They have also maintained that they have wanted a secular government in New Delhi."
However, both the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party have so far kept their cards close to their chests.
The best bet of the Congress so far is the BSP, which may not want early elections having been voted out of power in Uttar Pradesh six months ago. Mayawati can replace Banerjee but that would come at a price.
The big relief for the Congress though is the unequivocal support of its allies, despite the DMK joining hands with the Opposition during the Bharat bandh on Thursday. Both the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the DMK have chosen to rally behind the government.
However, the options with the government are limited.
Option 1: The UPA continues with the support of the 21 MPs of the BSP, and brings a host of reform measures.
Option 2: The UPA strikes a deal with the SP, and compromises on its own mission Uttar Pradesh.
Option 3: The UPA prepares itself for the General Elections in early 2013.
Meanwhile, there has been a googly from JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has said that he would go with a party who gave his state a special status.
He said, "I will support any party who gives Bihar a special status."
In this high stakes battle, what happens in the next few days will be keenly watched by all.