Trinamool Congress ministers to resign on Friday

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The Trinamool Congress (TMC) ministers in the Central government will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday to resign from his government over the new reforms he cleared last week.

They will then head to Rashtrapati Bhawan where they will formally indicate the withdrawal of their support to the ruling UPA coalition in which Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress was the second-largest ally.

"We will give our resignations to the Prime Minister. According to the schedule, we are going to the Prime Minister's Office around 3 p.m and then we will go to President," said Trinamool Minister Mukul Roy.

Trinamool Congress has six ministers, including one of Cabinet rank, in the UPA government.

Banerjee had earlier said there is no room for negotiations on the issue of FDI in retail and ruled out going to Delhi for any talks with the Congress leadership.

Stating that the Congress-led UPA Government did not consult the TMC on FDI issue, Banerjee said: "When Pranab Mukherjee was the leader of the House, he had said there would be no decision on FDI without consensus. Forget consensus, they did not even bother to consult us."

After Trinamool's withdrawal of support, the UPA government's support in Lok Sabha will come down from 273 to 254 and the coalition will be heavily dependent on Samajwadi Party (22) and BSP (21) for its majority in the House.

For a simple majority, government needs the support of at least 273 MPs in a House of 545.

However, the government remained unperturbed over any threat to its stability following Trinamool Congress's decision.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said: "We had enough friends yesterday, we have enough friends today. So, I don't think why you should doubt our stability."

Asked whether the government would look for new allies, he said, "If we can acquire new friends, why would we not."

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