Logjam over FDI continues on Day 2
Both Houses adjourned as Oppn sticks to demand
Opposition parties led by the BJP stalled the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament for the second consecutive day of the Winter Session pressing for a discussion on FDI in retail under a rule that entails voting, as political stalemate over the issue continued.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s effort to reach out to the main Opposition at a dinner hosted by him for top BJP leaders at his 7 RCR residence here on Thursday night did not end the logjam, as BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) stuck to their demand forcing the adjournments of both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha for the day. Members of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), outside supporters of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, too contributed to the din in both the Houses on the issue of reservation in promotion in government jobs.
The Left parties made a common cause with the NDA in Lok Sabha against the government’s decision on allowing FDI in multi-brand retail. Trinamool Congress members, whose no-confidence motion fell flat on Thursday, stormed the well, demanding government to withdraw its decision on FDI in retail.
“Nothing will go on record….Please take your seats…..I will allow you to speak,” Speaker Meira Kumar kept on saying in order to bring the House in order but Opposition members continued creating ruckus.
The Lok Sabha witnessed one adjournment, before being adjourned by the Speaker for the day. No significant business listed in the day’s schedule could be taken up. The Opposition members, however, allowed the prime minister to introduce newly inducted and elevated Ministers in government.
Similar scenes were witnessed in Rajya Sabha, which saw three adjournments before being wound up for the day.
The Upper House had uproarious scenes as soon as soon as it started its day. Brajesh Pathak led the BSP MPs in slogan shouting. BSP leader Mayawati was on her feet in support of the demand.
The House was adjourned till 12 pm. The situation remained the same when the House reassembled at 12 pm. However, EMS Nachiappan, who was in the chair, chose to continue with the business and Shantaram Naik tabled the Select Committee report on Lokpal. Reports on health, home affairs and agriculture were also tabled amidst the uproar.
The BJP members remained standing on their feet to oppose FDI and similar gesture was exhibited by CPM and TMC members in opposition to FDI. After a few minutes of proceeding, the House was adjourned till 2:30 pm. Unrelenting Opposition members forced the Chair to finally adjourn the House for the day later when it reassembled.