Opposition heat on, FDI vote next week

Last-ditch attempt by Kamal Nath, Rajiv Shukla to soften Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley fails

Published: 29th November 2012 09:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th November 2012 09:56 AM   |  A+A-

A way out of the present impasse in Parliament may have been found  with the UPA government agreeing to a vote on FDI-in-retail in both Houses.

The government, assured of its numbers in the Lok Sabha after the DMK on Tuesday pledged its support to the ruling dispensation, reached out to the mainline Opposition party, the BJP, on Wednesday in a last-ditch attempt.

With the BJP refusing to yield and reiterating its demand for a discussion under voting provisions in Parliament, sources said the government has made up its mind to have a debate in Parliament on the issue. The discussion, along with the vote, may take place early next week, said government sources.

After Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, accompanied by his deputy Rajiv Shukla, met Leaders of Opposition in the two Houses, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, on record, both sides stuck to their original demands.

Speaking after the meeting, Kamal Nath said the “presiding officers of the two Houses would decide the provision under which the FDI debate would be held”.

“Various parties want Parliament to run smoothly... But a larger number (of political parties) are not concerned whether the discussion (on FDI) is held with voting or without voting,” Kamal Nath said.

“We have now left the decision with the Speaker,” Nath added.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, said “they would agree on nothing less than a vote on the issue”.

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