'Govt. will win FDI vote in Rajya Sabha': Chidambaram
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday expressed confidence that the Congress-led UPA government will win the vote on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail in the Rajya Sabha.
"The debate will happen and the government will win the vote," he told mediapersons outside Parliament here.
Expressing concern over the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party's decision to abstain from voting on FDI in the Lok Sabha yesterday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier today alleged that they suspect the action of the government.
"But there is a big question what prompted these two political parties, whether it is the threat of CBI or the government had to go on its knees begging them to support them. The fact remains that the government does not enjoy the majority anymore. The fact also remains that of the 18 political parties, who have participated in the debate of which 22 leaders have spoken against FDI and more than 14 parties out of these 18 political parties have opposed the FDI in this country. It's a matter of concern what has been displayed by the Samajwadi Party and the BSP in the Lok Sabha," said BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
He said the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, has raised the issue that the Samajwadi Party and the BSP have not allowed the house to function for the last one week.
" They are partners of the government supporting the government from outside. The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha has asked the Prime Minister to explain is it a design to see that the house is not run and we are all aware that the UPA Government does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha. The action of the government is suspect. And we are under an impression now today that the government is trying to do exactly what it did in the Lokpal Bill," he added.
Rudy further said the government may have mustered the numbers by seeking the withdrawal or walkout of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, but the fact remains that it has been defeated in the Lok Sabha.
"The fact remains that Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, their numbers in totality is 43, and these political parties who had vehemently opposed the FDI inside Parliament and outside Parliament had courted arrest, had gone for a nationwide campaign against FDI. The fact remains that these numbers are against them," he added.
The UPA Government, which won the vote on motion against FDI in multi-brand retail in the Lok Sabha yesterday, is hoping that the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will bail it out for the numbers are not in its favour in the Rajya Sabha.
The motion brought by the opposition was defeated by a margin of 35 votes as 218 members voted in favour of the motion while 253 against it
Members of SP and BSP, with respective strength of 22 and 21, did not participate in the voting yesterday as they walked out alleging that interests of farmers and small retailers had been ignored.