TMC ministers resign from government


Six ministers of the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) resigned their posts yesterday following the withdrawal of the party from the Indian National Congress (INC) led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on Wednesday.

A press release on the TMC website quotes their leader, Mamata Banerjee as saying:

“West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday held a Press Conference at the Writers’ Building and made her position clear on quitting the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) 2 as a mark of protest against the increase in fuel prices, streaming of subsidy on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders per year and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on retails.

Speaking to Press, the Chief Minister said, ‘I heard that the (UPA) was saying that they had tried to contact me for a negotiation but I did not receive any such communication from any level. This is totally false and concocted. You may recall that I gave them 72-hours time to think about the rollback but they did not care to respond. We did not want to break the alliance but were compelled to take this decision as I cannot accept and support something which goes against the interest of the common man’.”

The move will not immediately jeopardize the government, although it is now a minority government, but with support from non-government parties. The INC is likely to react by withdrawing its Ministers from the coalition in West Bengal state.

The move by the TMC will bring forward a likely Cabinet reshuffle, probably to early next week. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appeared on television last night justifying the move to bring in foreign direct investment into a number of areas in the economy, especially the multi-brand retail sector. The text of that speech can be found here.

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