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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Didi eyes numbers to take UPA battle to Parliament

Ravik Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, October 06, 2012
First Published: 16:03 IST(6/10/2012) | Last Updated: 16:06 IST(6/10/2012)

After her Facebook rant against the Congress's 'anti-people' policies on Thursday, chief minister Mamata Banerjee now plans to solicit support of the regional outfits, including those in the UPA, with a view to rustling up numbers for a likely noconfidence motion in Parliament against the Manmohan Singh government.

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The state Trinamool leadership is reportedly keen to mobilise a joint campaign along with likeminded regional partners, which could likely emerge as a federal front against the Congress-led UPA. The Trinamool leadership is reportedly working on a ploy to land the Manmohan regime in choppy waters and reduce the ruling benches to a minority in terms of numbers in the Parliament, so it could land the decisive blow with the proposed no-confidence motion in November.

Both the chief minister and her key party lieutenants are aware that their move to bring down the UPA 2 regime could well be defeated, should they fail to ensure support from such regional satraps as Mulayam Singh Yadav.

"The winter session of Parliament is scheduled for November-end. We would look to mobilise joint protests against the UPA with other regional forces and have enough numbers on our side, so we could bring a no-confidence motion against the government. We want to ensure that we are in a position to deliver the knockout punch to the Congress-led government," Trinamool MP Sougata Roy told HT.

As had been hinted at by the chief minister in her Facebook post, her key party aides are already in the process of securing a date with president Pranab Mukherjee, so they could press ahead with their plans vis-à-vis the UPA.

Upset with the Centre for pressing ahead with a fresh wave of reforms despite stiff opposition from Trinamool, the chief minister issued a stinging Facebook post, calling on all political forces including UPA partners to rally for the common cause of toppling the Congressled regime.

The Centre's bold reforms push includes extending the FDI ambit in such key sectors as retail and insurance. However, the top bosses of the state Trinamool leadership said that the party wouldn't consider bringing a no-confidence motion against the Centre till such time it has the support of all regional outfits and is assured of the numbers of taking down the Congress-led regime.

Party leaders said that they have already begun parleys with such key UPA constituents as the DMK and are also keen to rope in other regional forces.

As part of a plan to mobilise a pan-national campaign against the UPA, the chief minister is scheduled to address a raft of rallies in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and the southern states in November.

The party hopes to forge a robust coalition of regional forces and push for a referendum on the Congress-led regime by the time the winter session of Parliament comes around.

"Many regional parties have been vocal against the antipeople decisions of this (UPA) government. Our leader has called on them to join hands to topple the government. It is now up to them to come forward and take a stand in the interest of the country," Trinamool MP Sultan Ahmed told HT.

However, party sources admitted that rustling up numbers against the UPA would amount to a tightrope walk as the party does not want to align itself with the BJP or NDA. A switch to the saffron camp could likely dent Trinamool's minority votebank in the run-up to the panchayat polls.

"We won't approach either the BJP or the Left for support. They could take their own call on whether to support the motion. We wish to seek a vote of no confidence against the Centre along with other regional parties," a senior Trinamool leader told HT.


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