PM Manmohan Singh continues to reach out to allies SP, BSP NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh continued to reach out to important allies, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. On Sunday BSP chief Mayawati and senior party leader Satish Mishra were invited for lunch at his residence in New Delhi. On Friday night, his guest was SP's Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. The meetings, the first such after Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress withdrew support to the UPA government, is in preparation for the winter session of Parliament, where, the government fears, Banerjee could move a no-trust motion or at least a combined opposition resolution in the Lok Sabha against FDI in multi-brand retail. A government source said that similar dining out meetings would be arranged with other allies of the government, the Nationalist Congress Party and DMK. More than anything of course, the source said, the government was seeking friends in what will be a very hostile Lok Sabha. "It is the first such session after Trinamool Congress exited the alliance, and will take place during a high decibel election campaign in Gujarat. The meetings, therefore, are an attempt to shore up our allies," said a senior minister. Mayawati denied that the meeting had anything to do with the upcoming Parliament session. "The prime minister had invited me for lunch as you know we are a political party. And in politics these lunches, dinners and meetings keep happening, but I think this should not be linked to the Parliament session. I have been meeting the PM on occasions, this is part of politics," she said. She said that since her party is an outside supporter of the government, they are invited from time to time. She added that her party's views on FDI in retail remained the same, as in October, when they were articulated through a rally in Lucknow. She also indicated that she had her own agenda for the winter session of Parliament, especially with regard to a bill ensuring reservations in promotions for SCs and STs in government jobs. "The winter session begins on November 22, and we will raise this issue again. That bill has been cleared by the Cabinet and it came to the Rajya Sabha when only two-three days of the last session were left," she said. Mulayam Singh Yadav too had indicated that his support would also require some significant quid pro quo. He had asked his son, Akhilesh Yadav, to rush from Lucknow for the meeting with the prime minister, where both father and son spoke at length about funds to the state government, which hadn't been disbursed yet. Minister for parliamentary affairs Kamal Nath, however, said that the meetings were part of the government's efforts to seek co-operation for the session and the clearing of some crucial bills. "BSP and SP have said that they would be co-operating with the government in the session on some important bills," he said after the meeting. While FDI in multi-brand retail does not require legislative sanction, the government is looking at clearing several pending reform oriented bills, like the Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority Bill, the insurance bill, the companies bill and the all important Lokpal bill. PM Manmohan Singh continues to reach out to allies SP, BSP - The Economic Times ***************************************** Apparently the Trinamool pullout and a threat of a no confidence motion has given the Congress led Govt some serious nightmares. THe Govt will have to woo all and sundry and even have the usual sword of Damocles hanging on the heads of those who can be pulled into the ring. Let us see who wins in the Circus Maximus. Androcles or the Lion.