Yechury upset with DMK's move to back UPA on FDI in retail

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 27, 2012 12:24 hrs

New Delhi: Communist Party of India (Marxist) politburo member Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday expressed disappointment with the DMK deciding to support the Centre on the issue of FDI in retail, and said that the Parliament continues to be disrupted, as the UPA Government has not yet mustered its numbers.

Yechury said 'the UPA is now busy mustering its numbers to ensure that this motion cannot get passed'.

"They are making all the efforts and the reason why Parliament continues to be disrupted is the UPA has not yet mustered its numbers. So, in today's meeting some of those who had apparently opposed the FDI in retail trade for various reasons of their own have decided either not to oppose or support the UPA, the latest of course being the DMK," said Yechury.

"Trinamool Congress already yesterday stated and they confirmed our observation that they are the 'B Team' of the Congress. And they said in as many words that they don't mind whatever rule the discussion comes. They will oppose FDI in retail trade, but they have not insisted on voting," he added.

Yechury pointed out that discussion without voting would be meaningless

"We are firm, we think that in the interest of the country, the people; this is a decision that should not happen. We have given our reasons both on the floor of the house earlier and we are against any discussion without vote because we already had one such round of discussion without voting, which ended with the assurance given by the government that they will implement this only once they build a consensus among all stakeholders. They have betrayed that," said Yechury.

"So, another discussion without voting is meaningless. There should be a discussion with the sense of the house," he added.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday said the allies of the ruling UPA Government are united in wanting discussion on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.

Kamal Nath said 'the UPA is fully united and all constituents of the UPA have said that they are firmly behind the government in any discussion or debate in Parliament'.

"Yesterday in the meeting this matter was discussed and the larger numbers were in favour of a discussion to be decided by the Speaker. So, I will hold consultations with the Speaker, convey this sense of yesterday's meeting and let the Speaker take an appropriate decision," Nath told mediapersons after the UPA Coordination Committee here.

"The sense of the house yesterday was to have a discussion, they did not insist on voting. There were some members who said let us leave to the Speaker. So, I will be consulting. This is going to be the Speaker's decision. It cannot be a government discussion," he added.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M. Karunanidhi earlier offered to support the UPA Government in Parliament on the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail.

This move of Karunanidhi has come as a major breakthrough for the ruling Congress Party at the Centre, as DMK is the second-largest party in the UPA after the Congress with 18 Lok Sabha MPs.

The Centre, which has taken the stand that it will not force the DMK in Chennai or any other state government on implementation of FDI in the retail sector, was earlier making all attempts to persuade Karunanidhi to support the government on the issue.

The BJP and the other opposition parties are, however, firm on their demands for discussion and voting on FDI in retail. (ANI)

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