Congress Core Group Meets After Mamata Decides to Quit

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Congress Core Group Meets After Mamata Decides to Quit 2012

A day after Trinamool Congress decided to withdraw support to UPA, the Congress top brass was on Wednesday huddled in a meeting with party president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh deliberating over the strategy ahead. The meeting of the Congress core group chaired by Ms. Gandhi at the Prime Minister’s residence deliberated at length on the political scenario after Mamata Banerjee’s announcement of withdrawing support to the government.

Minutes before the core group meeting began, the Prime Minister held confabulation with Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia. There have been indications from the party earlier that they should be “ready to bite the bullet” as reforms are necessary at this juncture. Trinamool Congress on Tuesday decided to withdraw its ministers from the Union government and its support.

The second biggest constituent of the UPA with 19 members in Lok Sabha said the party could reconsider its stand if the government rolls back its decisions on FDI, raised the cap on subsidised LPG from six to 12 cylinders besides reducing diesel hike from ₹ 5 by ₹ 3 or ₹ 4. “We are withdrawing our support. Our ministers will go to Delhi, meet the Prime Minister and tender their resignations at 3 PM on Friday,” the TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister had said.

Immediately after the Trinamool’s announcement on Tuesday, Mr. Digvijay Singh said on twitter, “FDI decision was taken in national interest fulling knowing its political fallout and I hope the government will stand firm as it did on the nuclear deal.” If the Trinamool Congress goes ahead with its decision to withdraw support, the UPA will be reduced to 251, 21 short of the majority mark of 272 in the 545 – member Lok Sabha. However, with the support of outside allies — Samajwadi Party ( 22 ), BSP ( 21 ) and some others — the government is still comfortably placed with the support of over 300 members.

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