Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the two parties which provide outside support to the UPA government at the Centre and may prove to be decisive in both Houses of Parliament during voting on FDI in multi-brand retail, chose to maintain suspense till the last moment.
Though both the parties slammed the government during the debate in the Lok Sabha, but they kept the cards close to their chest, even refusing to drop a hint.
“Why do you want us to reveal today what we would tomorrow,” SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav told reporters outside the House.
BSP leader Dara Singh Chauhan said his party would disclose tomorrow (Wednesday) the way it will vote.
“We are seriously thinking about whether to stand with the communal forces or not.”
The SP with 22 MPs and BSP 21, account for 43 MPs in the Lok Sabha. UPA managers are confident of getting the support of 270 members in the effective voting strength of 543 in the House.
Parties firmly opposed to FDI in retail account for 206 MPs, and the government is hoping that if the SP and BSP even abstain, it will win by a comfortable majority.
Participating in the debate in the House, Yadav warned the UPA that the FDI decision would hurt its poll prospects and benefit the BJP.
Yadav and BSP leader Dara Singh Chauhan advised the government not to rush with its implementation.
Though stating that his party is strongly opposed to FDI in retail DMK leader TKS Elangovan remarked, "but we will still not vote against you. We will not let you down…..We will watch you and correct you."
Meanwhile, the eight Telangana Congress MPs who are protesting for a separate state also remained non-committal.
"The party is trying to reach out to us but for us to vote in favour they know what our demand is (commitment on Telangana)," a senior Congress MP told HT.
In another development late on Tuesday evening, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhara Rao met these Congress MPs in the capital, adding to speculation that they could join the TRS.