Samajwadi Party, a key outside supporter with 22 MPs, kept suspense over its strategy in case of a trial of strength in Lok Sabha in the wake of Trinamool Congress' decision to withdraw support.
Trinamool, the second largest constituent of UPA with 19 MPs, wants the government to totally withdraw the decision to allow FDI in retail, slash the Rs 5 hike in diesel by Rs 3 or Rs 4 and raise the cap on supply of subsidised LPG to 24 cylinders a year.
If Trinamool goes ahead with its decision, UPA's strength will come down to 254, 19 short of majority in Lok Sabha, but with the support of outside allies like SP, BSP, JD (S) and RJD it still has the backing of over 300 MPs in a House of 545.
Grappling with a near crisis situation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today had a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other top party leaders and the message that came out of the deliberations appeared to be that the Centre was in no mood to rollback its major reforms decisions.
“I don't know why you guys are hung up on that one word rollback. These issues (decisions) were taken after the most careful consideration. They stand,” Finance Minister P Chidambaram said after a meeting of a GoM on Media.
Indicating that the government was not in a mood to go back on its decisions, he said if any of the Trinamool Ministers wanted to talked to them they will explain the circumstances that compelled the government to take decisions.
On her part, Banerjee stuck to her demands when she ruled out any compromise on issues and said the ministers would tender their resignation.
The West Bengal Chief Minister told reporters in Kolkata "I will stick to my position, come what may... the (TMC) ministers will tender their resignations."
"Minimum 24 cylinders should be given to a family in a year. How many times you will keep raising the petroleum prices? FDI in retail should be withdrawn," she said as a condition for reconsidering her stand.
"I can't compromise on issues. It is related to common people. If political parties don't consider people's feelings, if I cheat the people, then I have no existence," Banerjee said.
As Congress looked to outside allies for ensuring its numbers, the Samajwadi Party appear to be acting pricey.
SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav gave no indication of what his strategy would be. He attacked the Congress over price rise.
He announced that his party parliamentary board will meet tomorrow to decide a strategy while only to be contradicted hours later by his brother and MP Ram Gopal Yadav who said there was no such meeting planned tomorrow.
After the meeting of the GoM, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said the Government was not in trouble.
"The numbers are there, we have got support always. Whenever UPA I or II has taken hard decisions there were such situations. But we always had the numbers. Today also we will try to talk to everyone to bring everyone into confidence. There is no threat to the government," she said.
Mamata Banerjee could be well rated as a street fighter but nothing more. As a Railways Cabinet minister she was a disaster even worse than Lalu Yadav. As West Bengal CM except prooving being short sighted populist and an autocratic leader She has not done nothing more. Her credentials on respect for democracy of which opposing views is an essential part is well known, her respect for justice is nothing but scant and her dynamicity on growing the economy of W.B. is no better than nano size. It is good riddance from center. The FDI debate and comments are intutive and reflects the various concerns and opinions but poloticians such as Mamata Banerjee and the BJP leaders who are professing regressive policies dont realise that it is the consumers who would benefit most from the competitive landscape that will usher with advent of large discount retailers such as Wallmart. The benefits in terms of distribution network, storage facilities, utilization efficiency would be inormous.
Mamta didi's concern for common people is laudable,she has courage to oppose any such policy which is against the interest of common man, till date she has achieved what she has wanted fully or partially but this time congress seems to be firm and will not accept her demands, it will be better for her to rethink & remain in power and oppose anti people policies, government with help SP & BSP will survive but if TMC is out there will be no voice for common man.
First of all German and others do not pay 12% interest to finace inventory and there manufacturing is not crushed by poor infrastructure and abysmal power so much so that every business in India has to have back up power system. Let us not speak of corruption. If FDI retail comes, they will source their oods from large comapnies in India, not small and medium scale. the other 70% will come from Chinese and other nation's medium and large scale industies. Indian manufacturing jobs will decline. A nation cannot plunge into large scale foreign owned retail until it has competitive manufacturing.Of course, FDI retail will diminish small retail as it has done in prctically every country wheer it has gone. The uneducated traders ,all 5 crore of them, can be given make believe jobs by the Govt! As far as the farmer is concerned, he may get better price but only for produce that has right texture or quality. Refrigeration at farm, truck, home is not cost effective in India so wastage stays.