UPA still has substantial majority: Congress

September 19th, 2012 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) The Congress Wednesday said that the UPA had “substantial majority” in the Lok Sabha despite the Trinamool Congress deciding to withdraw support, but hoped that the party “will see reason in national interest” and not pull out.

“If 19 (Trinamool Congress MPs in the Lok Sabha) go away, we still have substantial majority. No cause of worry on that count,” Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh told NDTV.

The Congress leader said that a number of political parties in the Lok Sabha had given letters of support to the UPA whose strength stood around 324, well above the half-way mark in the majority in the 545-seat house.

He said that issues rankling West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee had been discussed in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coordination committee meeting in the presence her party’s representatives.

Though he did not specifically mention the issues, the Congress leader said that the government had taken decisions after consulting all allies.

“All these issues were discussed in the UPA coordination meeting,” he said.

Digvijay Singh said the central government gave more subsidy on petroleum products than the revenue it collected in terms of taxes but the states did not give any subsidy out of the tax they got on diesel and petrol.

He said the states should also cut taxes to give relief to consumers.

Referring to Banerjee’s initial reservations on the candidature of Congress nominee Pranab Mukherjee in the presidential contest, Digvijay Singh said that she ultimately relented.

“We hope, in national interest, she will see reason (again),” the Congress leader said.

He also spoke of “secular” versus “communal” political divide. “The real challenge is from communal forces. All secular parties have to come (together).”

The Trinamool Congress is opposed to the government’s decision to hike price of diesel by Rs.5 a litre, yearly cap of six on the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders to a family and allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.

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