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BJP sticks to discussion, voting on FDI in multi-brand retail in Parliament

Posted on Nov 22, 09:05PM | UNI

The principal Opposition party BJP today said it would continue with its demand for a discussion and voting under the Rule 184 on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail sector in the Winter Session of Parliament which was disrupted on the first day itself.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day, after being adjourned thrice in the day, following a ruckus over FDI.

The BJP and the Left parties have been demanding a debate and vote on FDI.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said the Parliament has been 'insulted' by the Congress-led UPA government.

"I want to remind that the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee gave a statement in Parliament on December 7, 2011. He said other parties and leaders will be kept in confidence before going in for FDI. But the government has approved 51 per cent of FDI without consulting other parties," she said.

"We should be given an opportunity to express our views under Rule 184. Under Rule 184, there should be a discussion on FDI in Parliament," Ms Swaraj added.

However, the NDA partner Janata Dal (United) said it wants a debate, but did not insist on a vote.

"The government has violated the assurance given to Parliament. But now it has been saying that the government has taken a decision on FDI through executive order," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters.

Mr Hussain said the government was 'afraid' of voting on FDI as 'it has lost majority' after the exit of All India Trinamool Congress from the UPA.

"The whole Opposition is united on the FDI issue. The Left parties, SP and others had participated in Bharat Bandh against FDI in retail. Voting will reveal the stand of parties who have been opposing FDI decision outside Parliament," he said.

Reacting to the no-trust motion, moved by AITC and rejected by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as it lacked the support of 50 MPs as required, the BJP spokesperson said no-trust motion will give the Congress government a 'lifeline' as the government will 'manage' the numbers.

He alleged that both the Houses were disrupted today due to the government's attitude.

"If the government is confident that it has numbers, then why it has been escaping from voting on FDI in Parliament," Mr Hussain added.

The Rajya Sabha also remained paralysed over the issue of the SC/ST quota bill and FDI.