Back channel efforts on to break FDI standoff

The stand off on an adjournment motion on the issue is said to have forced a rethink on the government side, though it is unlikely to reverse last week's Cabinet decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in the retail sector.

While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appeared determined on the issue on Tuesday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi is expected to spell out the party’s stand when she addresses the Parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday.

Despite the stand of the Kerala unit of Congress to oppose the move, the party leader is expected to back the decision by the government.

Facing the government is the possibility of a defeat in voting after discussion if it were to agree for the adjournment motion, given the opposition by allies DMK, the Trinamool and friendly parties like the BSP and SP, the numbers are stacked against the government.

The BJP may agree to play by if the government introduces the motion and a debate in the Parliament.

Said Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj: “The government has two options. They can roll back the decision and start a debate on either price rise or black money, or they can accept the adjournment motion on FDI.”

Union minister and NCP leader Sharad Pawar, a strong votery of FDI, is said to have told the government that Parliament should be allowed to discuss the issue.

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