Mixed signals from the Samajwadi Party (SP) on Thursday kept the Congress-led UPA on tenterhooks, hours after the ruling coalition agreed to allow a voting in both Houses on the FDI policy on multi-brand retail.
Only if the SP (9 MPs) abstains and the BSP (15 MPs) vote in favour of the government in the Rajya Sabha, the government can straightaway defeat the opposition-sponsored motion that aims to reject the FDI policy. In Lok Sabha, abstention of both parties would be sufficient for the UPA to tide over the FDI crisis.
SP leader Ramgopal Yadav categorically said in New Delhi, "We will vote against FDI in the Rajya Sabha." But in Lucknow, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav was evasive. "In politics, quite often things remain unclear till the right moment. When the moment to decide would come, decision would be taken," he said. His son and UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav also added to the suspense, saying the SP's stand will be decided by its chief in the House.
Mulayam, however, said the SP remains strongly opposed to FDI, ruling out any possibility of an active support to the UPA.
While SP and BSP hold the key to FDI voting, the two parties are locked in a bitter war over the SC/ST promotion bill that forced the adjournment of the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
TMC disrupts house
Trinamool has made its intentions clear and is on a disruption mode. Even on Thursday, when normalcy returned to the Lok Sabha after speaker Meira Kumar admitted the opposition notices over a debate on the FDI under rule 184 that entails voting, Trinamool members disrupted the proceedings.