Kolkata: The wait to know whether Trinamool Congress, the second largest
constituent of the 40-month old UPA government would remain a part of
the government is finally over. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee announced that the party will withdraw its support to the UPA government. She said TMC ministers, one cabinet and five ministers of state, will submit their resignations to the Prime Minister on Friday.
In a press conference in Kolkata, Mamata said she tried her best to make things work with the UPA govt but finally came to a decision leave because "the way they function is not acceptable". She said the Congress does not consult allies and that they function on their own.
The TMC is protesting against the FDI in retail, diesel price rise and a cap on cooking gas cylinder that the govt announced last week. She rules out outside support to the government. "We gave the Congress enough time to rethink their decision", she said.
With the UPA in minority, all eyes are on Mulayam's SP and Mayawati's BSP. Upon being asked if the Samajwadi Party will take their place in the govt, she said the SP's leadership will be the ones to take the call. As far as she is concerned, she will fight alone. She said, "we will fight our battle alone".
Samajwadi Party, on the other hand, said TMC's pullout does not affect them. Ram Gopal Yadav said any decision they take will be after due consideration and internal meetings.
However, Mamata didn't give a clear answer as to what their future plan of action is. She said she may rethink her decision if there is a partial rollback.
Soon after her press conference, Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi spoke to the media very briefly and said the party is ready to reach out to her and discuss the issues she's raised.
Meanwhile, the BJP is unwilling to comment on her decision to quit. Party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said they will wait till Friday to see how the situation unfolds.
After the TMC's withdrawal, the UPA now stands at 254 from 273 seats in the Lok Sabha.
The meeting was attended by all Trinamool members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha along with senior party leaders and ministers of the state cabinet, is being held at the historic Town Hall auditorium.
The government Monday ruled out a roll back of its decisions to open up the retail industry and hike diesel prices even as some of its allies and an united opposition tested its resolve and promised more policy initiatives in the coming days.
"To my knowledge there is no question of any rollback (of diesel price hike)," Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said
Asked whether the government has risked its stability, he said, "I do not think government faces any threat. Government is stable. Our allies in the government and outside will understand and continue their support to the government. We will be able to convince our allies."
Last week, the government allowed FDI in multi-brand retail, raised diesel prices by Rs. 5 a litre and capped the number of subsidised LPG cylinders at six a year.