Leading opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) said that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is bound to go for an early poll. However, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that his government would complete its full term.
"Obviously coalitions face issues. Sometimes, they give the impression that these arrangements are not very stable and I cannot deny that those possibilities exist. But I am confident our government will complete five years and that the next Lok Sabha elections will take place on schedule," Manmohan Singh told reporters while returning from the BRICS summit in Durban.
The statement came after SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav hinted possibilities of withdrawing outside support to UPA government. He reportedly told his party men to be prepared for the polls which he said could happen as early as in November, and went to the extent of describing the Congress as "cheats" and calling it "clever".
UPA, which has already lost two allies - Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) - will be in big trouble ahead of the general elections next year if SP doesn't give outside support.
Manmohan Singh is also aware of the rough road ahead. He said that the coalition needs the goodwill of the allies to get the approval of Parliament on reform proposals as it does not have a majority. At the same time, he expressed confidence that the government would be able to push through some of the much-needed reforms.
Mulayam Singh Yadav had suggested the possibility of early elections just a few days after DMK withdrew support to UPA over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.
At present, the Lok Sabha has 539 MPs (four vacant seats) and the halfway mark is 270. The UPA has 232 seats - Congress 202, NCP nine, RLD five and others 16. The current strength of the UPA is 253, including outside support from several parties like SP (22), BSP (21), RJD (3), and JDS (3).
The BJP has 152 seats, while the Left and other parties make up for 106.
The UPA will be reduced to 231 seats if SP, which has 22 MPs, withdraws support. This means, the government has to go for early polls as claimed by the opposition party and Mulayam Singh Yadav.