are writing it off.
In Jammu & Kashmir, the Congress is learnt to be in favour of going it alone in the assembly elections but of continuing the alliance in the Lok Sabha elections. Though seat-sharing negotiations are yet to start, the Congress is preparing to demand least one of the Lok Sabha seats in the valley, either Anantnag or Baramulla. The National Conference has, however, already started asserting itself as was evident over the proposal to create new administrative units. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah chose to remain silent over reports about his plan to resign over the issue, but the Congress was quick to pacify him.
The Congress’s allies and UPA constituents have chosen various ways to send their common message across. As the Congress insisted on a 27:21 share in Maharashtra, where it wanted to take Kolhapur out of the the NCP’s quota of 22, NCP union minister Praful Patel went public in virtually giving a clean chit to Modi, saying the court verdict on the post-Godhra riots should not be questioned. A few days later, NCP chief Sharad Pawar confirmed reports about his meeting with Modi last month. No wonder the next meeting of NCP leaders with Antony turned out to be the last one as the Congress gave up on its demand and even left the issue of swapping of constituencies — to enable Youth Congress president Rajev Satav to contest from the Hingoli seat — to the NCP’s discretion.
Early this week, when Farooq Abdullah expressed reservations against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, Congress leaders were quick to read between the lines.
“There is nothing strange about the allies’ attitude. Every party acts in its own interests. Time is the biggest leveller,” an AICC general secretary summed up, philosophically.
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