SP to decide on support tomorrow: Yadav

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 19, 2012 15:06 hrs

Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday said his party's parliamentary board will meet on Thursday and take decision on supporting the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

SP supremo made the comments a day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the biggest in ally Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government, walked out of the ruling coalition over the string of long-awaited economic reforms announced last week.

The government now depends on the support of Mulayam Singh or Mayawati, who heads the BSP party.

"Tomorrow there is a meeting of the Samajwadi Party's parliamentary board. We are going to take a decision there," Yadav told reporters on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, according to media reports quoting BSP sources, Mayawati will support the UPA government since the BSP supremo is against early polls.

"She will keep providing outside support," their leaders were quoted in media.

Mayawati with 21 MPs can bail out the government.

TMC chief Mamata on Tuesday said that since the government was not rolling back the moves, widely considered as critical to revive India's economy but criticised by others as detrimental, it was withdrawing its support.

Even though Banerjee´s exit is not expected to destabilise the government in the short term as the Congress is likely to draw support from others, but it could come as a blow to further reforms.

The government on Friday finally opened doors to more foreign investment in India's retail, aviation and broadcast sectors, and divestment in four state-run industries, in long-awaited bold steps that are seen critical to revive growth and confidence in Asia's third largest economy.

The big ticket liberalisation measures came just a day after the government raised the price of diesel by Rs 5 per litre and restricted the number of subsidised LPG cylinders sold to households at five per year.

The moves sparked a strong backlash from the TMC.

The Congress was dependent on the 19 lawmakers of the TMC but it might get the support of the SP (with 22 MPs) or the BSP (21 MPs).

SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav already has said that Congress should not count on it for survival after Trinamool withdrew.

The withdrawal of support by the TMC reduced the strength of Manmohan Singh government from 273 to 254 in the 545 seat lower house, which is below the half way mark needed to be in majority.

Another ally of the Congress, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) might not destablize the government as they have expressed, but they too demanded a rollback on the hikes and reduction of subsidy and are joining a shutdown against the decision on Thursday.

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