New Delhi: The UPA-II regime continues to be on life support as it is now completely dependent on outside support after the DMK pulled out. The UPA-II, after DMK's withdrawal, is now banking upon the man who has always helped the government survive in crisis, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is once again holding the aces. Mulayam with his 21 MPs is the oxygen supply that the UPA needs.
That is one reason why the Congress leadership went out of it's way on Wednesday to pacify Mulayam in his battle with Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, who himself had apologised to Mulayam and his men, went to the extent of personally accompanying Beni to express this regret.
"If my actions have hurt any one, then I express regret," Beni Prasad said after SP MPs demanded his resignation for linking Mulayam to terrorists. But this regret isn't good enough for Mulayam as he is now asking for an apology inside Parliament as well. In fact, the SP Parliamentary board will meet on Thursday morning to chalk out its plan of action.
Aware that Beni's comments against Mulayam have touched a raw nerve within the SP, the BJP immediately attempted to widen the schism. Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said, "Mulayam is a respected leader of this country. The minister who made these statements must resign."
But it remains to be seen whether Mulayam Singh, the man who has bailed out the UPA on multiple occasions in the past, will think any differently this time.