NEW DELHI, September 19 (Agencies): Putting an end to speculations, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has finally decided to withdraw support to the UPA government, throwing the ruling coalition into minority in the Lok Sabha reducing its number from 273 to 254.
According to the present scenario, if the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) continue to support the government, the UPA will have strength of 279 in the Lok Sabha, where the half-way mark is 271.
The UPA can now also look towards the Samajwadi Party, which has 22 MPs, for support. If the Samajwadi Party comes on board, then the UPA is assured of a very comfortable majority.
However, the ministers from the Trinamool Congress have not resigned with immediate effect, and have decided to submit their resignations on Friday.
The West Bengal Chief Minister even said that if the government went for a rollback on the issues of diesel price hike, cap on subsidised LPG cylinders and foreign direct investment (FDI) reforms, before Friday, she might reconsider her decision.
Reacting to the announcement by Banerjee, according to sources, the government has decided to reach out to the Trinamool Congress and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi herself is likely to negotiate with the West Bengal CM.
The Congress party even made a brief statement saying Banerjee continued to be a valuable ally.
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,” Dwivedi said.
The Samajwadi Party, meanwhile, called the withdrawal of support by the Trinamool Congress “a very serious issue”.
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.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party also attacked the UPA government over the issue terming it as a result of the “Congress` arrogance of power”.
“This is the Congress way of dealing with their alliance. They are not consulted in a Congress government,” said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.
Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad hit out at the government saying the “beginning of the downfall of the UPA government has started”.
The BJP leader said that the decision by the Trinamool Congress chief had exposed the arrogance of the Congress party, adding that the “countdown has started”.
Meanwhile, JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made a brief statement saying, “Whatever has happened is in the best interest of the country.”