The unity of the opposition parties against allowing FDI in retail appeared to have been shattered on the very first day of Parliament’s winter session on Thursday as the UPA’s outside supporters, the SP and the BSP, broke ranks from the BJP and Left parties that insisted on a voting on FDI.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress went ahead with a no-confidence motion, which was rejected by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as it did not have the support of 50 MPs as is required. Besides the 18 TMC MPs, only three members of the Biju Janata Dal supported the current Lok Sabha’s first no-confidence motion that failed to even cross the first hurdle.
SP leaders said while it wanted a discussion on FDI, it did not insist on voting on the issue.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury hoped the SP wouldn’t change its anti-FDI stand. “We are in touch with the SP... BSP, however, has not said anything so far.”
The SP’s Ram Gopal Yadav said, “We are against FDI but not for piggybacking on the BJP.”
The BSP, conveniently for the government, deflected the focus from FDI by raising the issue of reservation in promotion for SC/ STs in both Houses and left the others with the only option of shouting slogans in the din.
The government, meanwhile, has called an all-party meeting on Monday to seek a consensus on FDI discussions.