Govt. wins FDI vote thanks to SP,BSP abstentions
The decision of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party to abstain from voting on the issue of allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, enabled the UPA Government to win by a margin of 253 votes to 218 votes late on Wednesday evening after a debate lasting two full days.
Out of the 543 Lok Sabha members, 471 voted. Samajwadi Party's 21 MPs and Bahujan Samaj Party's 22 MPs abstained from the voting process.
The voting took place under Rule 184 of the Rules of Business of the Lok Sabha.
Trinamool Congress MP Sougata Roy's amendment's on FEMA was also defeated in the Lok Sabha.
Earlier, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj expressed disappointment over the walkout by the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.
She said that the issue of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail would not have been passed had the Samajwadi Party and its leader Mulayam Yadav opposed it.
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma was vociferous in defending the government's stand on allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, saying it would benefit the country's agriculture sector, other key economic sectors, and provide more jobs for the youth of the country.
He also rubbished the opposition's claim that all stakeholders had not been consulted on the issue.
He said it would be unconstitutional for the opposition to prevent states of the right to chose whether they wanted or did not want to implement FDI in multi-brand retail.