Sonia, PM happy over FDI vote win

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 05, 2012 14:43 hrs

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday expressed happiness over the win in Lok Sabha on allowing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multibrand retail.

"Happy about win, not worried about Rajya Sabha," Sonia Gandhi was quotes saying in media after a heated two-day-long debate ended with the UPA winning the vote on allowing 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, defeating an Opposition motion against it.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told TV channels: "FDI policy has the approval of the house."

Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, however, said it is a moral loss of the government.

"It a political victory but a moral loss," she said adding that those who did not vote and abstained were actually supporting the FDI policy.

While the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) abstained making it easier for the UPA to win, the ruling coalition got 253 votes in their favour of FDI in multi-brand retail. They needed only 236 after the walkout as the half way mark came down.

A total of 218 members cast their votes against FDI in multi-brand retail after the motion brought by Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj was put to vote.

A total of 471 lawmakers were in House during the voting.

UPA also won the vote on FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) amendments by garnering 254 votes in their favour.

While Congress led UPA bailed itself out in Lok Sabha, in Rajya Sabha it stands a crucial test since the Congress lacks adequate numbers in the upper house.

The FDI debate under Rule 168, which entails voting, is set to take place in the Rajya Sabha on Dec 6 and 7.

The support of Mayawati and the SP are crucial for the government in Rajya Sabha.

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