All-party meet on FDI fails to break parliament logjam
An all-party meeting Monday failed to break the parliament logjam over foreign investment in multi-brand retail with opposition MPs adamant on the demand for a debate under voting rules, rejecting the government's appeal to reconsider their views.
"It was a good meeting, Many members said the house must run... I will appeal to the parties demanding a discussion under Rule 184 to reconsider their view, and I will discuss the sentiments expressed in the meeting with the presiding officers of the two houses," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters after the over two-hour meeting in Parliament House.
Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj added that there would be no compromise.
"We are not ready to compromise. Nothing short of 184," Sushma Swaraj said, emerging from the meeting.
Rule 184 entails voting on an issue after a debate.
Parliament was stalled Monday on the issue for the third successive day of the winter session that began Friday.
Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay told reporters that his party too wanted voting. The party had moved a no-confidence motion against the government on FDI Nov 22 but it fell through. The party had walked out of the government in September over the issue.
However, the government's supporters were not averse to having a debate minus the voting.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday morning and indicated that his party was not in favour of debate with vote. The party supports the ruling United Progressive Alliance from outside.
Samajwadi Party's Reoti Raman Singh told reporters after the all-party meet: "We want a debate on FDI, but the speaker should decide the rules under which it should be held."
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati, who too earlier indicated she is not keen on a vote, said: "We want the house to run, we want a debate on FDI but leave it to the presiding officer on what rule it should be debated under."