BJP adamant on vote on FDI
With Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath expected to meet leaders of opposition, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, to discuss modalities to end the ongoing deadlock in Parliament, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Balbir Punj on Wednesday said that his party is firm that there should be a discussion as well as voting on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.
Punj said many people would be exposed before the people of the country if a voting takes place on the FDI issue.
"We have been saying from day one that there should be a discussion as well as voting on FDI in retail trade so that the people of the country come to know that who is standing with them and who is standing on the side of UPA-II or America. And if today Kamal Nath meets our leaders, then our stand is going to be the same," he said.
Punj further said the DMK's move to fall in line with the Congress-led UPA Government on the FDI issue had not come as a surprise for the main opposition party.
"In fact, we were insisting on voting under Rule 184 in Lok Sabha so that the mass people have been varying on this issue, they cut remove and their real face is seen by the country and they know who stands where on the issue of FDI in retail trade. We are happy over the development that people have been exposed and now as and when the voting takes place the picture will be absolutely clear," he added.
The UPA Government, which finally has the DMK by its side, is preparing for a vote on its decision to allow 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail.
Kamal Nath yesterday said the allies of the ruling UPA Government are united in wanting discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail.
He said 'the UPA is fully united and all constituents of the UPA have said that they are firmly behind the government in any discussion or debate in Parliament'.
"Yesterday in the meeting this matter was discussed and the larger numbers were in favour of a discussion to be decided by the Speaker. So, I will hold consultations with the Speaker, convey this sense of yesterday's meeting and let the Speaker take an appropriate decision," Nath told mediapersons after the UPA Coordination Committee here.
"The sense of the house yesterday was to have a discussion, they did not insist on voting. There were some members who said let us leave to the Speaker. So, I will be consulting. This is going to be the Speaker's decision. It cannot be a government decision ," he added.
The DMK, which is a crucial ally of the ruling UPA Government with 18 Lok Sabha MPs, yesterday announced that it would support the Centre on the FDI in retail sector.
In a statement issued in Chennai, DMK supremo Karunanidhi said despite differences on the issue of FDI in retail sector, the party has decided to back the UPA Government to save it from being dislodged.
Karunanidhi said that the decision had been taken after considering the government's assurance that FDI in retail sector will not be forced on states, following which there is no danger to small traders and farmers in Tamil Nadu.
The DMK chief further said if there is voting in Parliament under rule 184, there is a possible threat to the UPA Government and this could benefit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
This move of Karunanidhi has come as a major breakthrough for the ruling Congress Party at the Centre.
Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP), Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Trinamool Congress have earlier said they will not insist on voting on the debate on the issue surrounding FDI in retail.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Left Parties are, however, still adamant on discussion with voting provisions.