M A I N   N E W S

Trinamool pulls out, SP extends lifeline
Anita Katyal/TNS

New Delhi, September 21
The UPA government was formally reduced to a majority today when the 19-member Trinamool Congress (TMC) withdrew its support to it but the lifeline extended by the Samajwadi Party (SP) has given ruling combine the confidence to concentrate on governance issues and the impending Cabinet reshuffle.

Although he joined hands with the Left parties yesterday to protest against the Centre’s recent reform measures, SP leader Mulayum Singh Yadav publicly declared today that his party will continue to extend outside support to the ruling combine, warding off any threat to its stability.” I am not in the UPA but we will support the government because we do not want communal forces to make any progress,” the SP leader told media persons, providing a breather to the UPA government. Besides the 22-member SP, the ruling coalition is also assured of the support of the 21-member BSP and a host of smaller parties.

“There is no danger to our government. We need 272 members in the Lok Sabha to remain in power but we have the support of over 300 members,” declared a confident Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K.Bansal, adding that there was no need for the government to take a vote of confidence.

Having secured the numbers for its survival,the Sonia Gandhi-headed Congress core group met at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence to review the post-Mamata situation and work out its strategy on its next dose of economic reforms. Although Finance Minister P.Chidambaram has already announced a series of new measures, UPA ministers said though the government will be able to take executive decisions,it will be handicapped in pushing ahead with its legislative agenda as it does not have the numbers in the Rajya Sabha, further depleted after TMC’s exit.

The long-pending Cabinet reshuffle is next on the agenda to give it a new look with an eye on the 2014 elections. 





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