Possibly to circumvent the political baggage and corruption taint associated with its name, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is now likely to be renamed ‘People’s Progressive Alliance.’
All the erstwhile parties in the UPA I and II and some more, who have decided to fight as a group against the current BJP dispensation led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, would position themselves by this name in case any alliance is formed before or after the elections.
It might be recalled that Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had announced a pre-poll tie-up and a Common Minimum Programme last week after a meeting between top Opposition leaders. She had subsequently also said that a meeting would be held on February 25-26 where Congress would present a draft CMP.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had also been present at the dinner meeting, which included NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Delhi CM and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal.
However, sources indicated that differences have been brewing over the decision to announce a pre-poll tieup as many parties are arch rivals in their respective states and would be fighting each other in the upcoming polls.
“Any such alliance should be possible only after the polls,” a senior Opposition leader said.
Differences have also been simmering over who would draft the CMP. Sources in TMC said that before Ms Banerjee announced that the draft provided by Congress would be discussed, TMC had approached rebel BJP leader and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha to draft such a document.
This would have led to problems for Congress, which does not want to be seen associating itself with a former BJP Union minister.