Trinamool quits UPA, Govt reduced to minority
New Delhi: The Trinamool Congress on Friday formally quit the UPA government and all its six ministers resigned in protest against FDI in retail.
The TMC, which has 19 Lok Sabha MPs, gave a letter withdrawing support to the UPA government to President Pranab Mukherjee.
A little earlier, the six TMC ministers submitted their resignations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his 7, Race Course Road residence here.
While accepting the resignations, the PM expressed sadness over the ministers’ decision.
The ministers -- Mukul Roy, Sudip Bandhyopadhay, Sultan Ahmed, Saugata Roy, Sisir Adhikary and CM Jatua -- went straight from the PM’s residence to Rashtrapati Bhavan for giving letter withdrawing support.
"We, the six Trinamool Congress Ministers of the Council of Ministers, including Cabinet Minister, went to the Prime Minister's residence at 4 pm and we handed over to him individual letters of resignations of all the six ministers," said Saugata Roy.
"Now, we have come to Rashtrapati Bhavan and handed over a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee, signed by Mukul Roy, chairman of Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party, withdrawing our support to UPA-II government... The President has accepted our letter of withdrawal of support," he said.
Earlier, while receiving the resignation letters, the Prime Minister said he was "sad" that they were quitting, Bandhyopadhay said.
Asked whether Trinamool leaders had demanded a floor test by the government to check its majority, Saugata Roy said, "No, we did not. Beyond what I have told you, we have not said anything extra."
He refused to reveal what the Prime Minister told them, saying it was confidential.
Mukul Roy was the only Cabinet Minister among the six holding Railways portfolio since March.
Bandhyopadhyay was Minister of State for Health, Ahmed was MoS for Tourism, Sougata Roy was MoS Urban Development, Adhikary was MoS Rural Development and C M Jatua MoS Information and Broadcasting.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had on Wednesday announced her decision to withdraw support to the UPA protesting the Centre's decisions to hike diesel prices, withdraw subsidy on cooking gas and allow FDI in multi-brand retail.
The move came after all efforts by the Congress to resolve the standoff with TMC bore no fruits.
Even as the TMC ministers quit the UPA government, the ruling coalition remains unfazed over its stability after having secured the crucial support of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP).
Before heading to the the PM’s residence, Bandhopadhyay had said that the game with UPA was over as there was no room for any kind of negotiation.
The TMC leader also informed the reporters that his party will hold demonstrations at the Jantar Mantar on September 30 to protest against the anti-people policies of the Centre.
After Trinamool's withdrawal of support, the UPA government's support in Lok Sabha has come down from 273 to 254 and the coalition is now heavily dependent on Samajwadi Party (22) and BSP (21) for its majority in the House.
For a simple majority, the government needs the support of at least 272 MPs in a House of 545.
(With agency inputs)