All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader V. Maitreyan moved the motion for debate on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
The AIADMK MP demanded the government to rollback its decision to allow FDI in the retail sector.
"Dr. Manmohan Singh opposed FDI when he was in opposition, today he is the prime mover. UPA chairperson was also opposed to FDI in retail when UPA I was in power," said Maitreyan.
"If FDI is so beneficial, why is it limited to 53 cities? Why isn't it extended to rural brethren? The answer is obvious, the MNCs are not interested in our rural markets," he added.
Maitreyan further said 'the government wants us to belief that global retailers will buy from local suppliers'.
"But that is a lie. We do not want to learn from someone else's mistake. Wal-Mart is under probe, and India wants to bring the company here. What a shame!" he added.
The debate is presently on in the Rajya Sabha under rule 168, which entails voting.
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram earlier today said the Congress-led UPA Government would win the vote on FDI in multi-brand retail in the Rajya Sabha.
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, who will initiate the debate on behalf of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had earlier on Wednesday said the Congress-led UPA Government doesn't seem to be serious about conducting business in the upper house from the very first day of the Winter Session of Parliament.
"The first few days were wasted because the government insisted they didn't want a vote in the Rajya Sabha. Obviously, the government is unsure of its figures in the upper house. After a few days when it agreed for a vote, both the government and its supporters amongst its allies, which include those outside supporters, have been disturbing the house every morning," said Jaitley.
"Not a single member of any opposition party has disturbed the house, nobody has gone into the well and we are waiting every morning so that the scheduled business can commence. It is the government members and those supporting the government who towards the well and disturb the house. This has happened for the last few days. The whole country has seen it," he added.
Jaitley further said 'the government is unsure of which way the Rajya Sabha vote will go'.
"And therefore, it has no serious intention of allowing the Rajya Sabha to conduct its business," he added.
The UPA Government, which won the vote on motion against FDI in multi-brand retail in the Lok Sabha yesterday, is hoping that the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will bail it out for the numbers are not in its favour in the Rajya Sabha.
The motion brought by the opposition was defeated by a margin of 35 votes as 218 members voted in favour of the motion while 253 against it
Members of SP and BSP, with respective strength of 22 and 21, did not participate in the voting yesterday as they walked out alleging that interests of farmers and small retailers had been ignored. (ANI)