A statutory motion moved by the Left and BJP MPs seeking an amendment to the rules notified by the Reserve Bank of India under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to facilitate Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail is likely to come up Thursday for voting in Rajya Sabha, where the numbers are not in favour of the ruling UPA on this issue.
A similar motion moved by a Trinamool MP was defeated in the Lok Sabha last December with the government getting 254 votes against the opposition’s 224 votes.
It was put to vote along with an opposition motion against FDI in the multi-trade retail sector which the government won after the SP and BSP staged a walkout before the voting.
But it could be a touch and go affair in the Upper House as the numbers in Rajya Sabha are not overwhelmingly in favour of the UPA, especially after the withdrawal of support by the DMK.
A quick look at the numbers indicate that the UPA might be able to secure the support of 106 MPs. The present strength of the House is 243.
Opposition sources said a walkout by the SP and BSP members may not be enough to defeat the motion, moved by CPM’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s M P Achuthan and BJP’s Prakash Javadekar.
The SP and the BSP together account for 24 members and their walkout would bring the half way mark to 110.
Both the parties had strongly opposed FDI in multi-brand retail during the course of the debate, but walked out before the motion was put to vote.
The motion has been pending since the Budget session of Parliament.
The FEMA notification was tabled in the House on December 13.
Opposition sources said according to rules a statutory motion has to be put to vote.
Time for some number crunching
* UPA might be able to secure the support of 106 MPs — Congress (72), Nominated (9), Independents (8), NCP (6), RJD and NC (2 each) and BPF, KC(M), LJP, MNF, NPF, SDF and JMM (1 each)
* The present strength of the House is 243.
* SP and