FDI in retail: Govt not 'averse to debate under any rule', leaves it to Speaker

Nov 28 2012, 14:02 IST
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Parliament stalled for fourth day. (PTI/ TV grab) Parliament stalled for fourth day. (PTI/ TV grab)
SummaryPM says govt confident of numbers should its decision on multi-brand FDI be put to vote.

Amid opposition's insistence on a discussion with voting on FDI in Parliament, Government today said it was "not concerned" over it, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asserting that UPA has the numbers.

"Yes, we are confident of numbers," the Prime Minister told reporters after an hour-long meeting leaders of UPA which presented a united picture.

He was commenting on stalemate in Parliament over FDI issue leading to adjournment of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for the fourth day in a row since the Winter Session began on November 22.

"The UPA is fully united on any decision of the Speaker and the Government...all constituents are firmly behind the Government," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said after the meeting.

Referring to yesterday's all-party meeting, he said, "Larger number were in favour of discussion to be decided by the Speaker."

Nath said this was discussed today and he will meet the Speaker to convey the sense of yesterday's meeting.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is also Leader of the Lok Sabha, said, "By Monday, everything would be decided and everything would be settled."

UPA met a day after the all-party meeting convened by the government to break the logjam. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Defence Minister A K Antony, RLD's Ajit Singh, DMK's T R Baalu, NCP's Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and Finanace Minister P Chidambaram were among those present.

The Government got a big relief as the DMK, which was so far ambivalent on the issue of voting on FDI, said it would stand by it with "bitterness" to keep communal forces away and not let the government fall.

Parliament stalled for fourth day

Meanwhile, earlier in the day Parliament failed to transact any business for the fourth day today despite government's efforts to break the logjam over FDI through an all-party meeting as the Left and the Right made a common cause by pressing for a debate under a rule that entails voting.

Both Houses witnessed the repeat of the scenes that have marred the Winter Session ever since it began on November 22.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day at noon after one adjournment during Question Hour, while the Lok Sabha witnessed two adjournments till 2 PM because of ruckus. The impasse continued notwithstanding efforts by the government to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament by convening an all-party meeting yesterday over whether the FDI decision should be put to vote.


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