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Govt gets Mulayam's support, says it has the numbers

delhi Updated: Sep 21, 2012 17:18 IST

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The government on Friday said it had the numbers and was not in a minority as the Trinamool Congress was set to formally withdraw from the UPA.

Both law minister Salman Khurshid and parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal exuded confidence of the government having the necessary numbers in the 545-member Lok Sabha despite the Trinamool with its 19 MPs withdrawing.

"We have the numbers," Bansal told NDTV.

Khurshid denied that the UPA government would be reduced to a minority after losing the support of its second biggest ally.

"We are not a minority government.. a minority government has to be proved to be a minority government… and the arithmetic points to us not being in a minority because of support of other parties," Khurshid told NDTV.

He added: "The support of other parties is there, unless they say they are not on board."

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni has asserted the UPA has the support of over 300 MPS.

In a big relief to Congress on a day Trinamool Congress pulls out of UPA, Samajwadi Party on Friday pledged to continue support to the government as it "does not want to let communal forces to come to power".

"Our support is clear. We will not let communal forces come to power. That is why I am supporting. I am not in UPA. But we are supporting so that communal forces do not go ahead," Mulayam Singh Yadav told reporters.

Trinamool Congress ministers at the Centre will hand over the letter proclaiming withdrawal of support to UPA-II, formally signalling the end of a 40-month-old troubled relationship with the Congress, to President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday if he grants an appointment.

Mamata Banerjee said the Trinamool had already sought an appointment with Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"We'll submit the letter to the President after the ministers hand over the resignation letter to the prime minister," Mamata said at the state secretariat on Thursday. Once it is submitted, the letter to the President will proclaim a minority status for the UPA-II, arguably the biggest crisis of the 40month-old government.

Three of those who will resign - Saugata Roy (minister of state, Urban Development), Sultan Ahmed (MoS, Tourism) and Sishir Adhikari (MoS, Rural Development) - reached New Delhi on Thursday, itself. A minister said the meeting would also provide them an opportunity for a muchawaited, last-minute interaction.

(With input from IANS)