Despite the Centre emerging victorious on the FDI vote in the Lok Sabha, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja on Wednesday said it is a huge moral defeat for the UPA Government as 14 parties had opposed it.
"Let us see, the Rajya Sabha may be different. Because, even in Lok Sabha, it is not a very big victory. It is a very big moral defeat for the government. 14 parties opposed the government's policy, Raja told mediapersons outside Parliament.
"I am not disappointed. The margin is very small. In fact, it is a huge moral defeat for the government," he added.
Another CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta also echoed similar sentiments on the issue, saying 'it is the defeat of the government'.
"The government had no majority in the house. In order to get majority, the government has to get more than fifty percent vote, but it has got the people abstained by using the CBI, by using influence, by using issues, It was a deliberate move to make the people abstained," he added.
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, expressed delight after the government's win in the Lok Sabha, saying FDI policy has the approval of the house.
The motion moved by Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, against FDI in retail was defeated in the lower house by a margin of 35 votes. 218 members voted in favour of the motion, while 253 voted against.
Members belonging to the Samajwadi Party, and Bahujan Samaj Party stayed away from voting by staging a walkout ahead of voting. Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar announced in the house that the motion has been defeated.
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma earlier replying to the debate said the government has been continuously consulting all the stakeholders including the chief ministers on FDI in the retail sector.
He said every state has the right and no one can deprive the right of an elected government to take important decisions.
Sharma also pointed out that several studies have shown that around 35 percent or Rs 65000 crore worth of fruits and vegetable are lost post harvest due to lack of infrastructure, cold storage and agro processing facilities.
Sushma Swaraj earlier appealed to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to reconsider the decision as only four out of 18 parties spoke in favour of the decision.
She also expressed her disappointment with the Samajwadi Party's move to walk out of the Lok Sabha just ahead of the voting.
Mulayam Singh Yadav's 21 MPs and Bahujan Samaj Party's 22 MPs abstained from voting on the FDI issue. (ANI)