India: Regional leader backs Singh, ensuring government's survival


Indian Samajwati Party Chief, Mulayam Singh Yadav (C), General Secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxsit (CPI-M), Prakash Karat (L), and former Prime Minister Devegowda (R) march to parliament during a nationwide strike in New Delhi on September 20, 2012. Opposition parties and trade unions called for shopkeepers, traders and labourers in India to block railway lines and close markets to protest against reforms, designed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to revive India's slowing economy allowing in foreign retail giants such as Walmart and Tesco.



Looks like Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh doesn't have anything to worry about, at least for the short term.

As GlobalPost predicted earlier, Singh's United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is not falling, despite the withdrawal of Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, because the Samajwadi Party's Mulayam Singh Yadav has stepped in to take her place.

As the Times of India puts it, Yadav's SP, which relies heavily on Muslim votes, will continue to support the UPA because Yadav "does not want to let communal forces [meaning the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)] to come to power."

Yadav's support alone is enough to give the UPA a slim majority. With the outside support of SP (22 seats) and BSP (21 seats), the coalition will continue to have the backing of over 300 MPs in the 545-member parliament, the paper said. For a simple majority, government needs the support of at least 273 MPs.

Meanwhile, Singh looks set to double down on economic reforms, as GlobalPost reported earlier.

According to the Hindustan Times, on Thursday Singh formally notified a measure that will allow "multi-brand" retailers like Walmart into the market with foreign investment of up to 51 percent in local ventures--defying calls to withdraw the move from West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee, whose Trinamool Congress controls 19 parliamentary seats. Moreover, Singh plans to present additional reforms, such as settling an outstanding tax conflict with Vodafone and raising the cap on foreign investment in the insurance sector, in the near future, the paper said.