Uproar in Parliament over FDI issue

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 22, 2012 07:40 hrs

The first day of the Winter Session of Parliament predictably started on a disruptive note on Thursday with both Houses being adjourned shortly after proceedings began, with the opposition demanding a vote on the issue of allowing foreign direct investment in the country's retail sector.

Both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha were first adjourned till noon.

Proceedings in Parliament started with the usual obituary references on departed members.

But thereafter, the opposition shouted slogans and called for a debate and a vote on the ruling UPA's executive decision to allow FDI in the retail sector.

In the Lok Sabha, members of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) rushed into the Well to protest against the prevailing poor law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh. The Samajwadi Party in turn demanded a rollback of the LPG price hike.

The continued ruckus forced Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to first adjourn the Lower House till noon and then till 12.30pm.

Similarly, the Upper House was also adjourned till noon. However, when it when it recommenced, it was again adjourned for the day following uproar on various issues, including the FDI in retail.

When the proceedings began, the Trinamool Congress, a former ally of Congress, moved a no-confidence motion against the UPA Government.

The Trinamool Congress MPs gave a notice regarding the no-confidence motion against the ruling UPA regime to Lok Sabha Speaker.

The TMC moves came even as the Shiv Sena demanded the adjournment of Parliament as a mark of respect to their departed party chief Bal Thackeray.

Mamata Banerjee's party had earlier said that it would table the no-confidence motion just before the sitting on the first day of the session of the House.

The DMK, the second largest party in UPA with 18 MPs, has also kept the government on tenterhooks declaring its opposition to FDI policy but it was not known how the party would vote in the event of a voting either on a no-confidence motion or a resolution under Rule 184.

Congress has said it has no problem with any no-confidence motion. The party, however, indicated its unwillingness for a debate under a rule that entails voting on any issue including FDI in retail.

The understanding in the party is that while nobody wants an election and parties will not like the government to fall, a voting during discussion could create difficulties for UPA constituent DMK and outside ally Samajwadi Party in supporting the government on FDI in multi-brand retail.

Both the parties have already expressed reservations against it and if any of them votes against FDI, it will be embarrassing for the government though this poses no threat to its survival.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath has expressed confidence about the government's numbers maintaining that it was up to the Speaker to decide the form under which a discussion could be taken up.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has invited the BJP top brass for dinner tonight. (ANI)

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