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Congress indiscretion
By Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

Sonia Gandhi's direct attack on Mulayam Singh, for having once denied her the chance to become the Prime Minister of India, at a campaign meeting, is bound to gladden the heart of all BJP leaders. With one moment of indiscretion, she had completely damaged the chances of any prospects of SP and Congress co-operating in UP, in case SP comes out with largest number of MLAs but without clear majority and would have looked to Congress to join in or support a coalition government in UP. 

Congress has a long history of being very vindictive with other parties and has been most reluctant to support others, specially those who have hurt its chances in the past. In recent Bombay Municipal Corporation elections, Congress had torpedoed all joint understanding with Sharad Pawar's NCP to fight the election jointly . Sonia cannot forget and forgive Sharad Pawar for his stand about her foreign nationality. 

The result was a victory for Shiv-Sena/BJP alliance. If Sonia plays the same revenge game, then voters should beware of trusting Sonia to carry out their mandate for a secular coalition government either in states or at the center. Mulayam would of course be on his guard and would be wary of trusting Sonia in future. 

In a way, Sonia has been kind to him, to warn him against any notion of depending on her support to plan to form a coalition government in UP. Incidentally both Mulayam and Sharad Pawar had good reason to oppose Sonia in the past as she was a non-entity that time even for the people at large. 

It is only with passage of time that she has gained some trust from voters. But if she tries to emulate her mother-in-law in appearing to be a ferocious manipulator, she will not get the same grace period that Indira enjoyed. India has gone through a big change since the days of emergency.

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