FDI deadlock ends; Parliament to debate, vote
The ongoing deadlock in both Houses of the Parliament over Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail ended on Thursday as the Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman allowed debate on the issue under rules that entail voting, reports said.
After an all-party meeting, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari allowed the debate under Rule 168 which entail voting.
Ansari called the all-party meeting on Thursday in order to resolve the deadlock on FDI in multi-brand retail issue after the Rajya Sabha was adjourned till Friday following an uproar over the SC/ST quota.
"We want parliament to function under any circumstances and I have told the Rajya Sabha Chairman that whatever decision he takes is acceptable for us including voting," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said.
Earlier in the day, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar announced that a discussion, followed by voting on FDI, will take place.
The date and time of the voting would be announced later.
"I have received 30 notices for discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail under Rule 184. I have admitted the motion to allow the discussion," Kumar said in the House.
"The date and the time will be decided later," she said.
Thanking Kumar, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said: "We will let the House function."
Kamal Nath, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Swaraj on the same day met Kumar to discuss the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail.
Adding pressure on the government, the Samajwadi Party (SP) said it will vote against FDI in multi-brand retail in the Rajya Sabha.
"We will vote against FDI in the Rajya Sabha," SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav told media.
On Wednesday, Nath met senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley in order to discuss the modalities of a vote on FDI.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Nath said the government wanted both the Houses of the Parliament to function.