Soon after Trinamool Congress Ministers at the Centre handed over their resignations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee announced here on Friday that the party’s Ministers will quit the Mamata Banerjee government.
The decision marks the end of the three-year-old electoral alliance between the Congress and the Trinamool, which ousted the Left Front from power in the State after 34 years in the 2011 Assembly elections.
The six Congress Ministers, including two Cabinet Ministers, are expected to tender their resignations to Ms. Banerjee on Saturday. The party will also submit a letter to Governor M. K. Narayanan, withdrawing its support to the State government.
The Trinamool would have to answer the people for going against their wish that the two parties should stay together, PCC president Pradip Bhattacharya said, adding the Congress always wanted the alliance to continue.
However, he said, the Congress was “relieved” after taking the decision, and the “time has come for the party to go to the people and tell them what is happening in the State.”
After the formal announcement, the Congress leadership launched a scathing attack on the Mamata government, saying the deteriorating law and order, atrocities on women and attacks on the party workers forced the Congress Ministers to quit. The party also accused the government of preventing the Congress from holding rallies, and announced a State-wide protest against its “dictatorial” attitude.
On the BJP reaction welcoming the Trinamool decision to withdraw support to the UPA government, the State Congress leadership said the two parties warming up to each other was a matter of concern to secular-minded people.
“Ms. Banjerjee is speaking in a manner similar to [Gujarat Chief Minister] Narendra Modi, and attacking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a way no Chief Minister has ever done,” Mr. Bhattacharya said.
The State Congress leadership urged Ms. Banerjee to take a “courageous step” by providing subsidies on cooking gas supply from the State’s exchequer, as was announced by Congress-ruled States. The cap on LPG cylinders to six per household per year, among other decisions announced by the Centre, was opposed by the Trinamool.