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Govt 'confident of numbers', not averse to voting on FDI

Source : PTI
Last Updated: Tue, Nov 27, 2012 15:27 hrs
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New Delhi: With DMK showing the green flag, government on Tuesday indicated it was not averse to voting in Parliament on the FDI in retail, a move that could end the House logjam.

"We are confident of numbers," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters after an hour-long meeting of the leaders of UPA, which presented a united picture, as news came from Chennai of DMK extending its support to the government during any voting on the FDI issue.

"The UPA is fully united on any decision of the Speaker and the Government... all constituents are firmly behind the government," parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath said.



Asked if the government was ready for a vote, Nath said government is "not averse" to discussion under any rules. "I said it yesterday. I am repeating it today," he said.

"Larger numbers (parties at the UPA meeting) were in favour of discussion to be decided by the Speaker," he said.

Nath said the issue was discussed today at the UPA meeting and he will meet the Speaker to convey the sense of the meetings of all party leaders yesterday and UPA leaders.

However, sources said, government has conveyed to Lok Sabha that it did not favour voting on FDI in retail in Lok Sabha arguing it would send a wrong precedent of voting on an executive decision taken by the government. At the same time, it has left the decision to the Speaker.

Opposition BJP and Left parties insisted that the discussion on FDI should be followed by voting.

While in Lok Sabha, the government appears to be comfortably placed in the numbers game with promise of support from SP and BSP and DMK's open backing today. Trinamool Congress with 19 MPs has also been cold towards Opposition demands for a vote on the issue.

However in Rajya Sabha, where the UPA coalition does not have the numbers on its own, may have problems in case of a vote.

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