Congress flexes muscles against allies. It is a sight one has not seen in the corridors of power for some time. From 1998 onwards, when an alliance of political parties came to power in New Delhi [ Images ], the main party has always been subject to the allies' whims and pressures, especially over the allocation of portfolios.
We saw Prime Minister A B Vajpayee being held hostage by recalcitrant allies like the AIADMK and the Trinamul Congress. From 2004 onwards we have seen Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ] being buffeted by demands from the Left and other allies.
This time round, it's been different. Buoyed no doubt by the fact that his party has over 200 MPs of its own and from the wide-ranging and unconditional support from various political parties, Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi [ Images ] have been resisting pressures from the allies, notably the DMK, over allocation of portfolios.
The new government's mantra for the Union Cabinet clearly is performance, never mind how many seats the ally has brought to the table. Some, like Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi [ Images ], no doubt are miffed at this.
What is your view on the Congress government's new-found assertiveness? Are the allies being treated unfairly? Is there a chance of the new government turning arrogant, now that it is not so dependent on allies as it was in 2004?