FDI rollback demand: Ball in PM's court

FDI rollback demand: Ball in PM's court

The hour-long meeting held in Parliament House failed to resolve the logjam in the two Houses as opposition parties, led by BJP and the Left, stuck to their stand and demanded rollback of the Cabinet decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail.

Even UPA allies TMC and DMK, along with SP and BSP, which lend outside support to government, demanded that the decision should be revoked.

Leader of the House in Lok Sabha and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the meeting that government had heard the views of the opposition parties but since the FDI decision was taken by the Cabinet, he would take the views of the opposition to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

"The opposition parties agreed with this suggestion," CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said after the meeting.

Interestingly, UPA allies were as vocal in their dissent as the opposition parties. DMK told government to "shelve" the decision while TMC demanded a rollback.

"We have demanded rollback of the decision. We have been demanding that a meeting of UPA partners should be held every three months. Such matters should be discussed with UPA partners," TMC leader Sudip Bandhopadhyaya said.

SP spokesperson Mohan Singh insisted that "without government withdrawing the FDI decision, Parliament cannot function smoothly".

BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra also spoke on similar lines at the meeting expressing his party's opposition to the FDI decision and demanding that the decision be revoked.

BJP, which moved an adjournment motion today as well in Lok Sabha to discuss the FDI issue, said nothing less than a rollback of the decision was acceptable to it.

"The demand of the whole opposition is that the decision should be revoked. It is clear that America, Britain, France have lobbied for allowing FDI in retail," BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said, adding that this policy will only harm the farmers and retailers in the country.

"Germany has already thrown out Walmart," Joshi said.

With government asking for more time, the deadlock in Parliament continued.
The Left parties also reiterated their demand for a rollback.

"We said in the meeting that we are opposed to FDI in retail as it will have a negative impact. We are also against government taking such a decision in the Cabinet without discussing the matter in Parliament when the session is on," Yechury said.

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