Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal chief minister
A KEY partner in India’s ruling coalition withdrew support from the government on Tuesday (September 18) and said its ministers would resign in protest over a series of economic reforms.
“Our ministers will go to Delhi to resign. We will not stay in UPA II,” the head of the regional Trinamool Congress party, Mamata Banerjee, told reporters, referring to the ruling coalition led by the Congress party.
The withdrawal of Trinamool, which is staunchly opposed to a move to allow foreign supermarkets into the retail sector, leaves the government weakened and dependent on outside support to pass legislation.
The reforms unveiled by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh last week include allowing in foreign retail giants such as Walmart and Tesco, as well foreign airlines, and included a 12 per cent hike in the price of subsidised diesel.
Banerjee, a mercurial politician who has forced the government into a series of policy U-turns, swept to power in West Bengal in May last year.
“My party’s six ministers have decided to resign. It is time to fight the battle alone,” said Banerjee after a meeting of Trinamool leaders in Kolkata.
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