UPA is a lame duck govt: Jaitley

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 06, 2012 08:54 hrs

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Wednesday hit out at the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government during a debate in the House on the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail issue and called it a 'lame duck' government.

"After yesterday´s vote on FDI in retail in the Lok Sabha, it was proved that the UPA is a lame duck government..You are dependent on support," Jaitley said.

He said even the alliance partners of the government are against FDI.

"Every change in this country is not a reform," Jaitley said.

Earlier, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader V Maitreyan moved the FDI motion in the Upper House of India´s Parliament.

Pertinently, the Rajya Sabha will debate and vote on FDI in multi-brand retail on Thursday and Friday.

Slamming the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government over the issue, Maitreyan said: "The government is spreading a wrong myth that FDI in retail is going to bring in employment. "

He said: "Manmohan Singh had opposed FDI when he was in the Opposition. Today he is the prime mover of FDI in retail."

Meanwhile, speaking to NDTV, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said: "I´m sure we are going to win this vote, may be with a very small margin, but I´m confident we are going to win this vote."

The UPA will be hoping that like the Lok Sabha, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will bail it out.

Two days of fierce debate and political maneuvering by the Congress-led UPA government ended on Wednesday as it secured a victory in a parliamentary vote over allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail with the help of unlikely allies even as the Opposition cried foul.

The ruling coalition got 253 votes in their favour, well over the 236-vote requirement after a walkout lowered the halfway mark.

Much of the credit for the win went to Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) who abstained, making it easier for the UPA to win, political analysts said.

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.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday expressed happiness over the win in Lok Sabha on allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.

"Happy about win, not worried about Rajya Sabha," Sonia Gandhi was quoted as saying.

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

The BJP however said that the victory was actually a moral loss for the government as it exposed how 14 out of 18 parties in the House were opposed to the economic reform.

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