New Delhi: Asserting that the debate on FDI in retail will expose those who stand for selling of national interest, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday alleged that the floor management in Parliament is done by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and not by the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs.
BJP leader Balbir Punj said "All political parties barring the Congress had expressed their opinion against FDI in retail."
"But we know that the floor management in both houses of Parliament, it is done to a lesser degree by the Congress Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and more by the CBI by manipulating the regional parties, which are vulnerable to CBI pressure. And as a result, you will find the complete disconnect between what these political parties have been saying on FDI in retail outside the house and how they conduct themselves within the house," said Punj.
"And when they do so, they say something outside and behave in just the opposite direction inside the house; obviously their masks will be off, they will be exposed and the people of India will know that who stands for selling of national interest in the shape of FDI in retail and who stands for defending the economic sovereignty of India," he added.
The Congress-led UPA Government faces a litmus test today, as the Lok Sabha is all set to take up discussion on the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail under rule 184 that entails voting.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, however, yesterday expressed confidence of the UPA Government's numbers in the Lok Sabha during the crucial debate and voting on FDI in retail.
The government is keeping a close eye on Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (SP) and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to win a vote in the Rajya Sabha. The two outfits are not part of the ruling coalition, but provide external support.
Both parties have, however, so far kept their cards close to their chest.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has so far firmly opposed the FDI decision. The Left parties, the AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and some other political parties have also made their intent to vote against the government.
The debate will begin in the Lok Sabha at 2 p.m. today. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, will be initiating the debate on the FDI issue on behalf of the BJP. The motion will be put to vote in the Lok Sabha tomorrow.
The Rajya Sabha will begin debating on the FDI issue on Thursday and will vote on Friday.