Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, it seems, is not done with the government. Two weeks after she stormed out of the government over FDI in retail and fuel price-hike, the maverick Bengal chief minister Monday threatened to bring a no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha. “If required, we will bring a no-confidence motion. We may also bring an anti-FDI resolution,” Banerjee said.
As she sought to bring her war against the Centre to Delhi, in Chennai, UPA constituent the DMK announced it would support an anti-FDI resolution in Parliament. The DMK, after the Congress, is the biggest party in the UPA with 18 Lok Sabha MPs.
Though the southern party clarified its opposition to the FDI would have no bearing on its support to the Centre, the ruling dispensation suffered a minor setback as an outside supporter - the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) that has two MPs in the Lok Sabha - withdrew support. “If our partners have concerns, we will provide evidence to allay their apprehensions,” Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said, denying there was trouble brewing for the government.
Post-UPA break-up, Banerjee seems to have gained an admirer in NDA convener Sharad Yadav, who not only attended her first public rally in the Capital but also hailed her ‘fighting spirit’ and likened her to a tigress. There was enough to indicate that Banerjee has her eyes firmly set on the general elections, which she predicted would be held a year in advance in 2013, as she called for a 'federal front' of regional parties.
She seems to have begun work on it as well as she announced a November 17 rally in Lucknow. “I hope Mulayam Singhji and (CM) Akhilesh Yadav will join us.” She plans to return to Delhi on November 19 and 20 for another protest. Bihar and Haryana are on the itinerary as well, so is a meeting with her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik. Her party colleagues and former union ministers Sudip Bandopadhyay and Saugata Roy also addressed the rally, questioning the “hurried reforms”.
“There comes a time in the life of every political party and politician when you have to evolve from an agitator to an administrator,” Congress' Tewari said of Banerjee's outburst. Earlier in the day, the DMK passed a resolution asking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to review the “recent economic decisions that were affecting the common man”. Party patriarch M Karunanidhi also called for total rejection of the Kelkar Committee recommendations, which call for fiscal consolidation.
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