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Jayalalithaa – Mamata pact collapses

New Delhi, May 21 (): Jayalalithaa and Mamata coming together to form a bloc to get the Opposition leader post for the latter’s MP and a deputy speaker for the former has fallen through.

Initially, Mamata offered Jayalalithaa the Opposition leader post in Lok Sabha and in turn wanted support for her candidate to be elected Deputy Speaker. Later, Mamata changed her proposal. Jayalalitaha with no intentions to have any strained relations with Modi,had turned down the offer.

Mamata seeing that her bid to get Opposition leader post failed,had asked her MPs to boycott the swearing-in ceremony of Modi. She has named her party leader in both the Houses and asked her MPs to give a tough time to Modi’s ministers.

Modi on the other hand sees Jayalalithaa as a friendly person who can help BJP pass crucial bills in Rajya Sabha. NDA does not have the majority in the upper house. The laudatory praise showered on Vijayakanth and his wife as well as the warm hug to Vaiko could have unnerved Jayalalithaa.

Congress has 44 MPs and to get the Opposition leader post it needs to have 52 MPs. It will tell the new Speaker that UPA is a bloc as it had a pre-poll alliance and it has 54 MPs. The Speaker is likely to accept this as many constitutional appointments need the concurrence of the Opposition leader.

Congress will have to go for Rahul Gandhi and cannot appoint any other senior MP as it would open the door to wrangling among other MPs. Opposition leader post is equal to that of a cabinet minister rank.

Congress working committee is now planning to convene a meet of State CMs of its party-ruled states and State presidents of the party units. Sonia has been given a free hand to revamp the party. CWC meet was largely an exercise that did not do anything to improve the party as it has mostly members who have lost their seats. Party sources say that it will take some time for the party workers to get out of the depression and shock.