New Delhi, Sep 18: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajnath Singh on Tuesday expressed confidence about Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee withdrawing her support from the ruling UPA Government over a menu of splashy reforms announced last week.
Singh, however, cautioned that one must wait for the result of this evening’s TMC meeting before jumping to any assumptions or conclusions.
“The TMC had given a 72-hour ultimatum to this government on diesel price hike, on LPG capping and on FDI. I believe that the 72-hour ultimatum is now nearing to its end and we should wait for the result of the Trinamool meeting, which is taking place this evening,” said Singh.
“But, I believe that the TMC will withdraw its support from the UPA following the time bound ultimatum, which it has given to this government. And I believe that the TMC should withdraw its support so that a crisis of credibility does not take place in the Indian politics,” he added.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has described the reforms announced by the UPA Government as against the interest of the people, will consult her party leaders to finalize whether she should quit the coalition led by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Banerjee will be meeting her party leaders in Kolkata this evening to decide on her party’s continuance in the Congress-led coalition at the centre. She will preside over the crucial meeting where all party MPs, State Ministers and Chief of frontal organisations have been asked to be present.
Banerjee had earlier issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the UPA government to immediately roll back the hike announced in the diesel prices, LPG cap and FDI in retail and threatened to take a tough action if the centre refuses to act swiftly on her party’s demands.
Banerjee had earlier on Saturday warned that the TMC would take ‘hard’ decisions at the end of her 72-hour deadline set by her party if the UPA Government did not scrap FDI in retail, diesel price hike and limit on subsidised LPG.
“We have called a party meeting on Tuesday to discuss these issues. If the Centre does not roll back the hike in diesel price and withdraw decisions on FDI in multi-brand retail and curbs on LPG, we will take decisions, however hard they may be. I hope the people will not misunderstand,” she told a rally.
Expressing astonishment over the government’s sudden big-ticket reforms, Banerjee said: “I don’t know what happened. So many decisions were taken on a single day. We want economic reforms that reach the grassroots, not something that benefits a section. These are anti-people decisions.”
“We are not in favour of quitting the government. We are always in favour of not breaking the alliance. But we are committed to the people. We are the second largest ally of UPA and we could have got more cabinet berths. We have now only the Railway ministry but that hardly matters to us. What matters to us are the people,” she added.
Banerjee further said that she could not betray the trust of the people, who have expressed confidence in her.
“We don’t want FDI in retail. This was in our election manifesto. The people voted us for five years. How can we betray their trust? How many times will you go on hiking prices at the cost of the common people?” she asked.
Opposition parties ranging will hold a nation-wide strike on Thursday to protest against the reforms in retail on the grounds that super-chains like Wal-Mart and Tesco will obliterate thousands of corner stores and the livelihood of many small farmers.
The government has, however, been stressing that states have the right to decide whether to allow FDI in retail. (ANI)