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Government, Opposition claim victories on FDI vote

Posted on Dec 05, 09:48PM | UNI

Even as the Lok Sabha rejected Opposition resolution against allowing 51 per cent Foreign Direct Investment, both Government and Opposition claimed moral victory for their stances respectively.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the vote had shown that the FDI in retail has the approval of the House.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the vote was a victory for reforms and pragmatism and it was a defeat for those who opposed the FDI because of their ideological blinkers. It will now ensure strengthening of the economy, he added.

Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal, who vehemently argued for the FDI, said the nation had spoken through the vote.

However, he was amused at the logic of the Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj on her claiming support of the members based on the content of their speeches and not their vote.

Ms Swaraj said the government may have technically won the vote, but had lost morally. The vote had exposed hollowness of the SP and BSP, which opposed FDI in their speeches but were in cohorts with the government supporting the investments.

Senior BJP leaders Murli Manohar Joshi and Yashwant Sinha cryptically said it was a general impression that it was a victory for the CBI and not for FDI.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav today asserted that boycott was the best option available for the party. The government decision to allow FDI in retail was under pressure outside Indian shores, he said.

The decision ignored the interests of five crore retailers and and their families, numbering around 15 crore.

"We are against FDI policy and this is the reason why", he said.

CPI leaders D Raja and Gurudas Dasgupta said it was the moral defeat for the government as total numbers against the FDI did not surpass the halfway mark.