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Trinamool Congress withdraws support from UPA 2

Trinamool Congress withdrew its support to the United Progressive Alliance II on September 18, 2012. The party has earlier given a 72-hour deadline to the government to roll back the diesel price hike and the decision for FDI in multi-brand retail. The TMC ministers in the government will submit their resignations on Friday to the Prime Minister.

Government will last only 3-6 months says TMC

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee convened a meeting today with their leaders after the deadline issued to the government has ended. The party has finally decided to walk out of the Congress-led UPA in the three-hour meeting. The six TMC ministers (one Cabinet and six Ministers of State) who are in the government will resign on Friday.

Speaking at a media conference, Mamata Banerjee mostly in Bengali, said that the latest steps taken by the government including FDI reforms were targeted at diverting the attention of the media from the coalgate controversy. "The Trinamool Congress stands for principles. We will organise country-wide agitations, this government will last only three to six months." , she said.

Mamata said that she told Sonia Gandhi that the decisions taken by the government were wrong and asked for a roll-back which did not happen. Despite pulling out of UPA, Mamata Banerjee said that her personal relations with Sonia Gandhi will continue.

Mamata Banerjee accused the Congress of acting unilaterally in the FDI reforms issue and hasn't due respect to its allies. "We cannot tolerate this. If FDI is allowed in retail market, where will the retailers go? There will be a disaster," she said.

Excerpts from her announcement

"We will not be in UPA-II. Our ministers will go to Delhi on Friday, meet the Prime Minister and submit their resignations at 3 pm,"

"We are not responsible if the country is forced to go for a mid-term poll. This government can stay for three months or six months, I don't know. They have lost the credibility. And if they cannot maintain friendship with us, then they cannot maintain friendship with anybody,"

"The FDI decision was taken to suppress the coalgate issue,"

"The UPA government wants to sell out the country. We will oppose it,"

"The government charges taxes but it doesn’t provide social security to people,"

Minority Government

With the TMC pulling out the UPA, the government is in minority. Out of the 540-member Lok Sabha, UPA currently enjoys 273 seats, 2 seats above the half mark. Trinamool Congress has 19 MPs in the Lok Sabha and has withdrawn its support, pulling the UPA strength to 254. TMC is the second largest constituent of the United Progressive Alliance. The Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal has 21 and 4 MPs respectively. They might come to the aid of the government, but has not announced anything formally yet. With TMC out of the alliance, the Congress mainly relies on Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, who are both extending support from outside in the UPA 2.

UPA - Trinamool = 246
UPA - Trinamool + SP + BSP + RJD = 293
UPA - Trinamool - SP + BSP + RJD = 271
UPA - Trinamool - SP - BSP + RJD = 250
UPA - Trinamool + SP + BSP + RJD + JD(S) = 296
UPA - Trinamool - SP - BSP + RJD + JD(S) = 253

Scenario in which Government collapses
Samajwadi Party, BSP withdraw support and Left votes against government in no-confidence

Scenario in which with Government survives
Samajwadi Party, BSP withdraw support and Left abstains from no-confidence voting
Samajwadi Party withdraws support, but BSP supports

Samajwadi Party, who has 22 MPs in Lok Sabha, has helped the government in critical times earlier. The party, however is against the FDI reform announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and is not likely to extend its support to the government.

Government unfazed

Despite the pullout of Trinamool Congress from the alliance, the Congress party is unfazed. According to sources, the party would seek support of like minded parties.

DMK says all options open

Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam, which is an ally to Congress has said that they are keeping all the options open. DMK leader Elangovan spoke to their chief M Karunanidhi after the recent developments.

Samajwadi Party

Sources say that Samajwadi Party will continue to be in the alliance.

Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav said, "The withdrawal by Mamata is a very serious issue. Congress should have given a chance to Mamata...almost all parties are against FDI, diesel price hike and LPG issue."

Congress reacts to TMC pulling out

The Indian National Congress issued a brief statement. Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi said, "Despite what Mamata has said today, till something finally happens, we will continue to treat her as our ally...she is still out friend. Whatever issues Mamata has raised, we will discuss those with the government,"

AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh said that the FDI reforms were taken in national interest.

Sonia Gandhi to mediate

Despite TMC pulling out of the government, Congress is forced into a damage control mode as Congress says UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will reach out and mediate with Trinamool Congress. Congress says that Trinamool Congress is still its dear friend.

Congress, a day after TMC pulled out of the alliance, said that they have tried to speak to Mamata Banerjee but hasn't heard anything from her back. Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, "We have tried to speak to her four days ago. The Prime Minister tried to speak to her. We have left the message to her that she can speak. We have not heard anything,"

Mamata Banerjee denied Congress' claims and alleged that they are distorting the facts. "I must make it clear that there has been no effort from the Congress to reach me. A section of negligible channels is spreading misinformation and disinformation at the behest of vested interests," Mamata said.

BJP to discuss special Parl meeting

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has said the latest political scenario shows the arrogance of the Congress party. BJP spokesperson Prakash Javedkar said, "This is the Congress way of dealing with their alliance. They are not consulted in a Congress government,"

The BJP said that the countdown for the downfall of the United Progressive Alliance has begun. The party would meet shortly to discuss a special Parliament session.

CPI asks government to prove majority

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta says that the President should ask the UPA government to prove its majority, in the wake of the latest developments. They also questioned the Trinamool Congress on why it needs 72-hours for the resignations of its ministers.

CPI(M) skeptical of TMC's decision

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said that the proper protocol of withdrawing support from the government is to inform the President. He said that until Mamata Banerjee speaks to the President, no one knows what will happen.

Shiv Sena congratulates Mamata Banerjee

The Shiv Sena party has congratulated Mamata Banerjee for taking the stand on the issue and pulling out of the UPA alliance.

Trinamool Congress officially withdraws support for UPA

The six ministers of the Trinamool Congress have met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and handed over their resignation letters. They also explained to the Prime Minister why they are quitting from the cabinet. The Prime Minister thanked them for their services and said that he was sad that they are quitting. At the same time, TMC chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, at a function in Gaighata, West Bengal said "I am not afraid of anyone. As long as I live, I'll live like a tigress."

The President of India has accepted the letter signed by Trinamool Congress MP Mukul Roy, withdrawing the party's support from the UPA government. It is learnt that Roy didn't want a trust vote to prove the government's majority, but wanted a vote in Parliament on FDI in multi-brand retail. The government is now in a minority, but there is no imminent danger as Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party are offering support from outside.

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