Sushma slams Mulayam, Maya's double standard

Before the vote on FDI in retail sector went in favour of the government in the Lok Sabha, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj pronounced her own verdict –the sense of the House was against opening up of the multi-brand retail.

Replying to the debate she initiated under Rule 184 that ends up in voting, Sushma said that 282 MPs, which is ten more than required majority in the House of 544 members excluding Speaker, have spoken against while 214 members for the UPA government’s move to bring 51 per cent FDI in retail. She arrived at this figure by adding up MPs who represent their parties in the Lower House.

As per the BJP leader, out of the 18 parties that participated in parliamentary debate, 14 spoke against allowing FDI in retail with facts.  Only four parties – Congress, NCP, RJD and RLD went with the government.

“For the first time there is a consensus against FDI in retail as 14 out of the 18 parties have apposed it. Never before a combined ruling and opposition parties in states, like SP and BSP in UP, TMC and Left in West Bengal and AIADMK and DMK, have voiced their views against the new economic policy,” Swaraj said.

She also said that “the country’s thinking has come out in Parliament. I wanted this to be converted into voting…so that future generation knows who stood where on such crucial issues,” she remarked.

 However, her motion was defeated as the government got 253 votes while 218 MPs pressed the button in favour of the opposition.

The BJP leader referred to an Urdu couplet to urge MPs to rise above party lines and think of the 20 crore household which would be affected by the government’s decision. “History is witness to such situations when momentary mistakes have punished generations”.

During her precise and cutting speech, Sushma picked up what she claimed were
“inherent contradictions” in telecom minister Kapil Sibal articulation of the government’s stand and took a dig at the “opportunist” politics of DMK, SP and BSP.

Sibal himself said in his speech that Walmart will not be able to open stores in Delhi as large chunk of land is not available and will have to move out to the NCR. But, Delhi Congress chief minister Sheila Dikshit wants the first store to be opened in Delhi, Swaraj recalled, pointing out one of the contradictions. 

She said that had Mulayam Singh voted instead of walking out from the House, the government would have failed to bring FDI.

Prior to SP, BSP too had staged a walkout helping the government to tide over the number crisis. 

Swaraj also ridiculed some of the parties she claimed that conveniently use the tag of secular versus communal politics to dissociate from the right wing party. 

“The retail trade is not about Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians. In fact, the Sacchar committee in its report said that the retail trade impacts most Muslim community,” she said this while countering claims of DMK, SP and BSP view that they cannot support the FDI motion as it would amount to helping the Hindutva party.

“BSP chief Mayawati is willing to take out support when she wants it on reservation in promotion in government jobs. But, the BJP becomes communal when we seek their support on FDI,” Sushma said.

The BJP leader said that the Commerce minister Anand Sharma’s assertion on Wednesday that he had consulted political parties was not right.

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