FDI debate in Lok Sabha today

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 04, 2012 05:30 hrs

The Lok Sabha will on Tuesday take up discussion on the issue of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail under rule 184 that entails voting.

The Congress-led UPA Government faces a tough challenge in the Lok Sabha for it is not sure of its numbers.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, however, yesterday expressed confidence of the UPA Government's numbers in the Lok Sabha during the crucial debate and voting on FDI in retail.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla also echoed similar sentiments yesterday, and said that the discussions are still on with various parties to get them on board.

The government is keeping a close eye on Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (SP) and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to win a vote in the Rajya Sabha. The two outfits are not part of the ruling coalition, but provide external support.

Both parties have, however, so far kept their cards close to their chest.

BSP supremo Mayawati earlier on Monday set conditions for supporting the UPA Government on the issue of voting for FDI in retail, saying it should be implemented only in sectors that result in development.

She said the government should not take a hurried decision on FDI in retail.

Mayawati further kept the UPA guessing, saying that the stand of the Bahujan Samaj Party on the FDI issue would be revealed on the floor of the house.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has so far firmly opposed the FDI decision. The Left parties, the AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and some other political parties have also made their intent to vote against the government.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar had earlier on Thursday allowed a discussion on the FDI issue under Rule 184, which entails voting.

The debate will begin in the Lok Sabha at 2 p.m. today. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, will be initiating the debate on the FDI issue on behalf of the BJP. The motion will be put to vote in the Lok Sabha tomorrow.

The Rajya Sabha will begin debating on the FDI issue on Thursday and will vote on Friday. (ANI)

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