Congress unfazed, sees no threat to A.P. government "as of now"

The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) withdrew both from the Congress-led UPA coalition at the Centre and the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh, signalling an end to their 14-year-long alliance.

MIM president and Member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi formally announced “with a heavy heart” that his party’s executive committee had decided on Sunday night that it should no longer support the UPA government at the Centre and the Congress regime in Andhra Pradesh because of the “communal policies” pursued by the latter.

The MIM is incensed with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy-led State Government for allowing a shed over the Bhagyalakshmi temple, abutting the historic Charminar, to be covered with a tarpaulin and the arrest of four of his party MLAs, when they tried to march towards the historic structure to stage a protest. Mr. Owaisi, the lone representative of his party in Parliament, said he had already faxed a letter to the President of India withdrawing support to the UPA. A similar letter was sent to the A.P. Governor.

Mr. Reddy and other leaders were unfazed by the decision as the Congress has the support of 153 members, including an independentin the 294-member Assembly. Mr. Reddy, however, convened an emergency meeting of his Cabinet to take stock of the situation.