Vote on retail FDI in Parliament, SP keeps everyone guessing

Last Updated 29 November 2012, 12:54 IST

The logjam in Parliament over FDI in retail ended today with a discussion on the issue allowed with voting but key UPA supporter Samajwadi Party kept kept everyone guessing on its stand in Rajya Sabha where the government is in a tight position on numbers.

While SP leader in Rajya Sabha Ramgopal Yadav, whose party has 9 members in the House,  said his party would vote against FDI in retail, party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav was not that fortright.

A breakthrough in the five-day impasse came when Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar announced in the House at the start of the proceedings that she has decided to allow a discussion on the contentious government's decision to allow FDI in mutli-brand retail under Rule 184 that permits voting.

Close on the heels of the resolution of the dispute in Lok Sabha,  Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari called a meeting of leaders of all parties and decided to allow a discussion under Rule 168 that entails voting.

The discussion in the Lok Sabha will take place on Dec 4 and Dec 5 while in Rajya Sabha it is yet to be decided.

The end to the Parliamentary deadlock came after government persuaded reluctant allies like BSP and SP and UPA constituent DMK to fall in line with their support during the vote.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath held discussions with leaders of various parties on Monday and with Leaders of Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley yesterday when he indicated government's readiness to face the vote.

However, politics of Uttar Pradesh over the Constitution (amendment) Bill to provide for reservation in promotion to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes may impact on the voting on the FDI issue. Government has promised to get the bill passed in this session in a bid to woo BSP, a move that has dispeased SP.

(Published 29 November 2012, 12:06 IST)

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