FDI vote: Kamal Nath meets BJP leaders

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 28, 2012 12:26 hrs
FDI vote: Kamal Nath meets BJP leaders

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday met senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley in order to discuss the modalities of a vote on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Nath said the government wants both the Houses of the Parliament to function.

"We want that both Houses of Parliament should function...Today, I met with BJP leaders," Nath said.

"We are not averse to 184. But the decision has to be taken by the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker," he said.

Nath earlier in the day met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to discuss the matter.

After the meeting, Swaraj told reporters: "The government asked us once again not to press for rule 184. However, we insisted on a discussion with voting."

She said: "The Opposition is sticking to its demand that a discussion on FDI in retail should take place under rule that entails voting."

The Opposition has not allowed Parliament to function since the beginning of the Winter Session over the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail.

After the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) assured support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in case voting took place, the government has indicated that it is ready for a vote in Parliament on this issue.

On record, the government says it will abide by the Lok Sabha Speaker´s decision on whether a vote will follow a discussion in the House on FDI.

The UPA held a coordination meet with its allies on Tuesday to discuss how the logjam in Parliament over FDI in multi-brand retail issue can be broken.

After the meeting, Kamal Nath told reporters: "The UPA is united on FDI. The UPA allies are firmly behind FDI in retail."

"The government is not averse to discussion under any rule. We are not concerned about vote but we are ready for a vote on FDI in Parliament," he said.

The all-party meeting called by the government on Monday to break the logjam in Parliament over the FDI failed to reach a consensus.

Speaking on that, Nath said: "Sense of the all-party meet was majority favoured debate under any rule. I will apprise the Lok Sabha Speaker (Meira Kumar), let her decide."

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