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Posted on Nov 21, 07:21PM | IANS
The logjam over vote on FDI in retail continued Wednesday at the speaker's all-party meeting with the BJP making it a precondition for the smooth functioning of parliament's winter session and the government saying it would consult its allies.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, which wants to bring a no-confidence motion against the government on the first say of the session, opening Nov 22, was isolated as no other party supported its move.
After the all-party meeting, Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar said: "All parties assured me that they will cooperate in running the house smoothly."
Leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj said the lower house must first debate and vote on the issue of foreign equity in multi-brand retail.
"We urge the speaker to accept our notice (on FDI in multi-brand retail) under Rule 184, which entails voting," Swaraj told reporters after the meeting.
She said the government had violated its earlier assurance given in parliament that it would not move forward on FDI in retail without consulting and evolving a consensus among various parties.
"Former leader of the house, Pranab Mukherjee, now the president of the country, had given an assurance not to take a decision on FDI without consulting various party leaders and chief ministers," Swaraj said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said: "I don't think there was any assurance. We will go into records to check what Pranab Mukherjee said."
Stating that he would reach out to parties to arrive at a convergence on running parliament smoothly, Nath said it means a give and take from both sides.
But the hint that parliament functioning may be disrupted in the initial days came from Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta.
"It appears parliament may not function smoothly for a few days as the government does not appear to be ready for a debate and vote on the FDI issue," he said.
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Basudeb Acharia supported the view.
Earlier, Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, who is also the NDA convenor, said most opposition parties wanted parliament should run without disruptions. But he also flagged a debate and vote on the FDI issue and said the government should not stick to its decision on FDI.
Nath appreciated the sentiment that the opposition wanted parliament to function.
Samajwadi Party leader Rewati Raman Singh said his party would finalise its stand on the FDI issue Wednesday. Though the party supports the government from outside, it is opposed to FDI.