M A I N   N E W S

Stormy start to winter session
  Both Houses adjourned
PM calls all-party meet to break FDI logjam TMC’s no-trust motion fails
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 22
It was a day of high drama and no work in both Houses of Parliament on Day 1 of the winter session. Both Houses were adjourned for the day after repeated disruptions following the Opposition’s demand to debate the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail and quotas in government job promotions for SCs and STs.

FDI debate: Where Oppn stands

* BJP/Left: Have given notices to discuss retail FDI under Rule 184 that entails voting and requires reversal of policy if the motion wins; Govt must agree to its language

* SP: Members have given notices to discuss FDI under an adjournment motion that requires suspension of all business to debate the issue at hand

* BJD: Backed TMC’s no-trust motion on Thursday, saying it will back any motion moved by any party to debate FDI. Has itself sought FDI discussion under Rule 193 — a short duration discussion which requires only a response from the minister concerned at the end

* BSP: Says it will disclose its stand when the Govt brings up the FDI discussion; LS leader Dara Singh has given just one notice — adjournment notice to discuss UP'a law and order situation

* TMC: Sudeep Bandopadhyay gave notice of no-confidence (Rule 198) against the Government for permitting 51% FDI in multi brand retail; his motion falls for want of support from 50 MPs. It is supported by 19 TMC and three BJD MPs

The so-called Opposition unity on FDI stood exposed in the Lok Sabha where the BJP and Left members sought a debate under Rule 184 that entails voting, but SP and BSP members left the decision to the Government.

Cracks appeared within the NDA, too. JDU leader and NDA convener Sharad Yadav said he wanted the Parliament to function and it was more important to debate FDI than to debate the rules of discussion. By evening, Yadav changed his stand. Sharing the dais with CPM’s Sitaram Yechury and BJP’s Arun Jaitley at the Constitution Club, he said, “Parliament will work only if the Government agrees to debate its decision to permit FDI in multi brand retail under rules that permit voting.” The Government for its part will convene an all-party meeting on Monday to formalise the structure of the FDI debate in Parliament.

Meanwhile, in the Lok Sabha, the much-touted motion of no- confidence that the Trinamool Congress sought to move against the Council of Ministers fell due to lack of support.

Such a motion requires the support of 50 MPs for being admitted. The TMC managed three Biju Janata Dal MPs (Bhartruhari Mahtab, Kalikesh Narain Singh Deo and Prasanna Kumar Patsani) apart from its 19 when Speaker Meira Kumar asked TMC leader Sudeep Bandopadhyay to seek leave of the House to introduce the Bill and exhibit the support of 50 members.

That apart, the Opposition disunity on retail FDI was for all to see, with only the BJP and Left MPs arguing for discussions under voting rules (184 in LS and 168 in RS). Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj sought such a discussion saying the UPA Government had disregarded former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s assurance to the House to suspend the FDI decision unless a consensus was reached with all stakeholders.

Ready for discussion
Opposition can't decide date and time of discussions in Parliament. We are ready to discuss FDI with BJP and others. The Parliamentary session should be carried out peacefully. —
Kamal Nath, Parliamentary Affairs Minister





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