It will be the first time that a regional party - the AIADMK - will be getting a chance to initiate the debate on FDI-in-retail in the Upper House.
Opposition BJP and CPM leaders, Arun Jaitley and Sitaram Yechury, alleged that the government was using supporting parties, like the SP and the BSP, to disrupt the House since it does not have the numbers in Rajya Sabha to win the FDI motion.
Talking to Express, AIADMK’s V Maitreyan however said, “It’s a test for the government which is claiming that it is leaving it to the state governments to decide whether they want to allow FDI-in-retail in their respective states. Since the Rajya Sabha is the House of states’ representatives, it is important that they should allow the debate and voting to take place.”
But, there is bit of catch in this for the government. If the SP and the BSP stage a walk-out in the Upper House as they have done in the Lower House, it would be a tough call for the government.
Abstention by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati’s parties will not help the UPA get past the half-way mark in the Rajya Sabha.
So, the opposition is expecting a repeat of the midnight fiasco of December 28, 2011, when a voting on the Lokpal-Lokayukta bill was not allowed by the Chair after it became evident that then UPA constituent Trinamool Congress would not vote in favour of the government.
However, the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, right after the Lok Sabha voting on Wednesday, said, “I am happy about the win and not worried about Rajya Sabha.”