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Major boost for Govt on economic reform as Oppn motion falls

Posted on Dec 06, 01:43PM | UNI

The Government today scored a major victory in its push for big ticket economic reforms when the Opposition motion against its decision to bring 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail was defeated in the Lok Sabha.

In voting after two-days of marathon debate, the Government won by 253-218 votes.

The motion asking the Government to roll back its decison had been moved by Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Khagen Das.

The Opposition motion for amendment in the RBI Notification of amended FEMA rules to give effect to FDI policy moved by Mr Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress also fell by 254-224 votes.

Mr Hassan Khan, Independent, did not push for his motion on FEMA notification saying it was on similar lines as that of Prof Saugata Roy, and moreover, he was satisfied by the explanation given by the Government.

The SP led by Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav and the BSP led by Ms Mayawati, though opposed to FDI, played a major role in the victory of the Government by abstaining from voting. They had staged a walk-out when Commerce Minister Anand Sharma was replying to the debate.

These parties are giving outside support to the Government.

The BJP condemned the move of these two parties, saying that history will not forgive them.

Ms Swaraj said that the Government had suffered a moral defeat as majority of members in the House opposed the FDI decision, though it might have scored a political victory.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that today's vote had shown that the FDI decision had the approval of the House.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi said it was a victory both for the party and the Government.

The FDI issue will now go to Rajya Sabha where the discussion on the motion against the Government decision would start tomorrow and voting would take place on Friday.

The Governmment does not have majority on its own in the Rajya Sabha and there were chances of the BSP again coming to its help in the Upper House which has a strength of 244 members. If the BSP with 15 members abstains from voting, the halfway mark will come down to 115 from 123. In that case there will be no worry for the Government even if the SP with 9 members votes against it.