The opposition’s insistence on a parliamentary discussion followed by a vote emerges from its argument that the issue has already been once discussed without a vote, and the government has flouted the assurance then given.
The BJP and Left argue that then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had assured the Lok Sabha that the government will decide on FDI in retail after a consensus is developed through the process of consultations amongst all stakeholders, including chief ministers and political parties. The government insisted that due consultations have taken place.
Commerce minister Anand Sharma argued in the all-party meeting that due consultations were held and 11 CMs wanted FDI in retail while seven others opposed it. He listed how the government held talks with organisations of traders, consumers, farmers.
But BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu accused the government of bringing FDI through backdoor. “What happened to the assurances? It is contempt of Parliament.”