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Speaker to take call on FDI voting: Govt


New Delhi: Amidst the continuing logjam in Parliament over FDI in multi-brand retail, the UPA coordination committee met here on Tuesday and decided to leave it to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha to take a call on whether to allow a debate on the issue under a vote that entails voting.

Speaking on the stalemate in Parliament over FDI issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that his government was “confident of numbers”.

Separately briefing reporters after the UPA meet, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said, “We are not concerned about any vote.”

“The government is not averse to discussion under any rule; we are not concerned about vote,” Nath said.

The minister said the sense of the House at Monday’s all-party meeting was that there should be a debate under any rule.

“They did not insist on voting. This will be Speaker’s decision,” the minister informed, adding he will apprise the LS Speaker about the sense of the all-party meet.

The UPA is completely united on the matter, he added.

Ahead of the UPA meet, key ally DMK decided to back the government on the issue of FDI in retail. The DMK will support the UPA government on FDI issue in Parliament, M Karunanidhi said.

The development came a day after the SP, the BSP as well as the Trinamool Congress made it clear that they would let the Lok Sabha Speaker take a call on allowing a debate on FDI in multi-brand retail under a rule that entails voting.

The BJP, however, remained adamant today on demand for voting on the matter.

BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said after a meeting of the party’s parliamentary board that the government had broken its promise made on the floor of the House on the matter of FDI in retail.

"Government has not kept its assurance to Parliament that the decision on FDI will be taken only after discussing the issue with all stakeholders. The sense of the House on the issue can be known only through voting. So, the government should give up its adamant attitude," Shahnawaz Hussain said.

He maintained that the government is responsible for Parliament not functioning as it is not agreeing to voting and discussion on the FDI issue.

"Government should not show arrogance of power and agree to the opposition demand. BJP and NDA are not ready for anything less than voting and discussion. We want a debate only under Rule 184," Hussain said.
 
 
     
 
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