New Delhi: Making a forceful plea against FDI in multi-brand retail, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said 14 parties had spoken out "passionately" against the issue, and the voting numbers in the Lok Sabha, with SP and BSP staging a walkout, would not reflect true sense of the house.
"Fourteen parties have spoken against allowing FDI... The number of their MPs works out to 282, that means 10 more than the halfway mark. Only four parties are for it -- Congress, NCP, RJD and RLD. That works out to 224 in favour," said Sushma Swaraj, concluding the debate in the Lok Sabha.
"However, when the voting happens, the votes will disappear; the numbers will disappear," she said, alluding to the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, who had spoken against FDI in retail during the debate but walked out ahead of the voting.
The two parties support the United Progressive Alliance government from outside.
"I want that future generations should see what was said in the house, and not go by the voting verdict," she said.
"Today's discussion is on the livelihood, the bread and butter of 20 crore people," the BJP leader said, adding that the economic move would hurt Muslim traders.
"The Sachar Committee has said FDI in retail will hurt Muslim traders."
She appealed to members to think carefully before pressing the button for voting and think of the farmers and small traders whose livelihoods would be hurt.