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Temporary problems with allies will be overcome: PM

 New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS): As tensions escalated between the UPA and key alliance partner Trinamool Congress, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday tried to soothe the frayed ties, saying he was confident that "temporary problems" with allies would be overcome.

"We have our problems but I am confident that if we have the will and determination, we will overcome these temporary problems," he said at a joint press interaction with Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, who is on a 10-day visit to India. He, however, did not name the Trinamool, which forms the second largest United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partner with 19 MPs.

He was asked whether the UPA government's development agenda was being affected as its coalition partners appeared to create problems for them.

"Life would not be worth living if it were not beset with one problem or the other. We are a large country with great complexity and great diversity," he said in a philosophic vein to reporters.

The Congress-Trinamool ties have remained uneasy since Banerjee joined the UPA after the 2009 Lok Sabha election. She has bitterly opposed and blocked some of the key policies and bills of the UPA government, including the anti-corruption Lokpal bill.

Banerjee is also mainly responsible for the central government's backtracking on the foreign direct investment plan in retail sector after she raised a red flag against the key reform measure. She has vowed to keep opposing the Lokayukta provision in the Lokpal legislation, which she fears will intrude into the autonomy of the State.

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