UPA allies meet; govt ready for FDI vote
The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) held a coordination meet with its allies will meet on Tuesday to discuss how the logjam in Parliament over Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail issue can be broken.
After the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters: "The UPA is united on FDI. The UPA allies are firmly behind FDI in retail."
"The government is not averse to discussion under any rule. We are not concerned about vote but we are ready for a vote on FDI in Parliament," he said.
The all-party meeting called by the government on Monday to break the logjam in Parliament over the FDI failed to reach a consensus.
Speaking on that, Nath said: "Sense of the all-party meet was majority favoured debate under any rule. I will apprise the Lok Sabha Speaker (Meira Kumar), let her decide."
At Monday's meeting, while the government offered only a discussion, the Left Front, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal (United) remained adamant on their demand for a debate under voting rules.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kaumar Shinde chaired the crucial meeting that took place at Parliament House here. It was attended by Union ministers like P Chidambaram, Kamal Nath, Anand Sharma and Sharad Pawar.
Meanwhile, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has said it will vote in favour of the UPA in connection to the FDI in multi-brand retail issue.
DMK chief M Karunanidhi said the decision was taken with 'bitterness' in order to keep the 'communal forces' out of power.
"We will support the government on FDI despite differences. We do not want to give room for the BJP to come to power," Karunanidhi was quoted as saying.
Pertinently, the DMK is the largest ally of the UPA after Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) withdrew its support over the recent economic reforms.
Meanwhile, both Houses of the Parliament were adjourned on Tuesday as the Opposition created ruckus over issues including FDI.
The Parliament has not been able to function since the beginning of the Winter Session last week because of sustained protests by the Opposition in both Houses over FDI in multi-brand retail.