BSP chief Mayawati launched an acerbic attack on the BJP Thursday as she announced that she would bail the government out once again on the motion opposing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, this time unambiguously by voting with the government in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow.
The support of the BSP’s 15 MPs swings the numbers decisively in favour of the government on the motion moved by the AIADMK seeking withdrawal of the decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail.
“If this motion is not defeated then the opposition will get a chance to play politics... and the government would be wary of bringing in several other important legislations in the Rajya Sabha, most notably the one on reservations for SC/STs in promotions or the one on food security. Therefore, the BSP has decided to vote with the government to defeat this motion,” Mayawati said.
A similar motion was defeated Wednesday in the Lok Sabha, where the BSP, which is supporting the government from outside, walked out. But such a strategy could not have worked in the Rajya Sabha where the government does not enjoy a majority. Either the BSP, or the Samajwadi Party, which also bailed the UPA out in the Lok Sabha, needed to vote with the UPA to defeat the opposition.
Until Wednesday, there was suspense about what the SP and the BSP, both of which oppose FDI in multi-brand retail, would do in the Rajya Sabha.
Instead of the FDI decision, Mayawati directed her anger at the BJP, especially its leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj. Swaraj, while exhorting the SP and BSP to vote against the government, had remarked that it was a case of choosing “FDI vs CBI” for these parties, implying that they may have been influenced by CBI cases against their leaders.
Mayawati, who used more than half her speech to hit out at the “communal forces”, said the language used by Swaraj was “undignified” and “petty” and the allegations were “without any basis”.
“Allegations of CBI pressure on us has become fashionable... But I want to make it clear that we are not afraid of CBI...have never been afraid of the CBI or the central government even in the worst of times,” she said, adding that it was a case of “sour grapes” for the BJP as its motion was getting defeated.
Some of her references to Swaraj were deemed unparliamentary and