The ruling UPA at the Centre got hammered by insider Mamata Banerjee and outside backers Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati on Saturday over the go-ahead to FDI in multi-brand retail and raising diesel and cooking gas prices.
West Bengal chief minister Banerjee offered four options and a 24-hour deadline to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to rollback the decisions, but did not mention withdrawing from the government even once at a protest rally in Kolkata.
Banerjee's options for the PM included bringing back black money to bolster the economy. "If they do not accept these options within 24 hours we are going to take a firm step on Tuesday," said the Trinamool Congress chief whose party is a UPA constituent.
The threat of "firm step", which she did not specify, comes a day after she threatened to take "hard decisions".
Earlier, she met representatives of traders' organisations at the state secretariat and urged them to join her fight against FDI multi-brand retail.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yadav's Samajwadi Party and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party - both parties extend outside support to the UPA - also took a hardline stance.
Yadav declared his government will not allow FDI in multi-brand retail in UP. "The SP has never been in favour of allowing FDI in retail. We have to think of small traders and farmers."
On support to the UPA, he said, "SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav will take a decision on the issue. We have extended support to check communal forces."
BSP chief Mayawati threatened to withdraw support if the Centre didn't rollback the "anti-people decisions". "The final decision over continuing support to the UPA government will be taken in the BSP national executive on October 10."
She added that BSP was not in the government, but extending outside support to UPA to check communal forces from grabbing power.