India govt loses majority but wins key support
22 September, 2012
NEW DELHI: India's government lost its majority on Friday when a key ally finalised its divorce from the coalition, but it was saved from the immediate risk of collapse by securing the support of a regional party.
Six ministers from the regional Trinamool party handed in their resignations to the prime minister and president in a move triggered by a row over a series of economic reforms rolled out in the last week. "We tendered our resignations and we have given our letter of withdrawal of support from the union government," Trinamool's Saugata Roy, who served as junior urban development minister, told reporters.
All 19 Trinamool lawmakers will now join the opposition ranks, bringing an end to an uneasy alliance inside the left-leaning coalition and leaving Singh's Congress party, which is dependent on outside support from other parties in parliament.
But while analysts said Trinamool's departure increased the prospects of early polls, Singh appeared in no immediate danger after the regional Samajwadi Party vowed to keep out the opposition BJP party and their Hindu nationalist agenda.
"We will not allow communal forces to come into power. Why should I withdraw support to the Congress?" Samajwadi party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav told reporters in New Delhi.
It was unclear if Samajwadi, whose 21 MPs generally back the government, would join the coalition formally and take up posts in the government when Singh reshuffles his cabinet.