Kolkata: Completing the divorce formalities with the Trinamool Congress, the Congress Saturday withdrew support from West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee government after its six ministers handed over their resignation to the chief minister.
All the Congress ministers – two cabinet-rank and four ministers of state – went in a body to Banerjee’s chamber at the state secretariat, Writers’ Buildings, here and handed over their resignation to the chief minister a little after 5 p.m.
“As per the directive of the party, the high command and the state Congress we have submitted our resignation to the chief minister,” said party leader Manas Bhunia, who held portfolios of micro, medium and small enterprises, textiles and irrigation and Waterways minister in the cabinet.
Abu Hena, holding charge of food processing and fisheries, was the other cabinet-rank minister from the Congress.
Later, the ministers along with state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya and legislative party leader Mohammad Sohrab, went to the Raj Bhavan and communicated to Governor M.K. Naryanan their decision to withdraw support from the Banerjee government.
The Congress’ exercise came a day after a similar act was performed by the Trinamool Congress in New Delhi.
The Trinamool formally pulled out of the United Progressive Alliance and its six union ministers gave their resignation letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday in protest against the hike in diesel price, allowing FDI in multi-brand retail trade and putting a cap on subsidised cooking gas cylinders.
The Congress was the junior partner in the Trinamool-led regime in West Bengal since it took charge 16 months ago in May, 2011 after ending the 34-year rule of the Left Front.
The withdrawal of support will not have any impact on the 16-month-old Banerjee government as her party has a comfortable majority in the 294-seat state assembly.
The Congress has 42 members, two more than the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s 40, and could stake claim for the post of leader of opposition.