Maya sees UPA through FDI vote in Rajya Sabha
With its nail-biting 123-vote win in Rajya Sabha on Friday, the UPA broke the virtual wall of parliamentary resistance against 51 pc Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail trade, opening doors to the likes of Walmart, Carrefour and Tescos of the world.
But, in the Upper House, the UPA victory would not have been possible without the crucial 15 votes that BSP chief Mayawati and her MPs cast against the opposition motion moved by AIADMK’s V Maitreyan on Thursday.
The government not only won the vote but also touched the halfway mark of 123 in RS as against the 109 votes (the number may come down to 104 on rechecking) the opposition camp could garner in favour of the motion.
But the gulf between the respectable tally UPA posted and the anti-FDI speeches that dominated the two-day long discussion had Maitreyan quipping, “Majority of the members of the house are opposed to the policy… So one can say (Commerce Minister) Anand Sharma loses and (Parliamentary Affairs Minister) Kamal Nath wins.” The implication being that the UPA won the debate through floor management skills and not by support of real policy backers.
As for the 10 nominated members, most, except Sachin Tendulkar (who was absent), voted in favour of the UPA. So did the six independents.