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Parliament paralysed: Crisis over FDI enters 7th day

Both Houses adjourned for the day over controversial reform step. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee meets Congress MPs after calling on party president Sonia Gandhi to discuss the standoff with the opposition. No work, no pay for MPs? Vote | A guide to FDI in retail| Watch video

delhi Updated: Nov 30, 2011 18:16 IST
Parliament,lok sabha,rajya sabha

Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day on Wednesday amid the continuing standoff between the government and the opposition over the Cabinet decision allowing foreign equity in retail.

Immediately after Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar called for the Question Hour to start the day's proceedings members rushed to the aisles demanding a rollback of the controversial decision to allow FDI in retail.

Some members of the ruling Congress as also of the TDP were seen waving placards demanding creation of a separate Telangana state.

Members of Trinamool Congress, a key partner in the government, were also seen waving placards and raising slogans on rollback of the decision to allow 51% FDI in multi-brand retail and 100% FDI in single brand retail.

TDP, CPI-M and Shiv Sena members rushed to the Well of the Lok Sabha while others continued their protests from the aisles. The Speaker's repeated pleas of 'Let us run the House' failed to restore order as members continued their protests.

Apparently sensing the mood, the speaker adjourned the proceedings till noon. The House was later adjourned for the day and will meet again on Thursday.

In the Rajya Sabha, BJP, BSP, JD-U and AIADMK members were on their feet shouting slogans against the decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retailing even before Chairman Hamid Ansari took his seat. "FDI vapas lo, vapas lo," they shouted as Speaker Hamid Ansari took up the first listed question.

Parliament has not transacted any significant business since the winter session began on November 22.

In a related development, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee met Congress MPs after calling on party president Sonia Gandhi to discuss the standoff over the decision to allow foreign equity in retail.

The government's known troubleshooter held a brief meeting with Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence before meeting party MPs to allay their apprehensions on the decision to allow 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail and 100% in single brand retail, sources said.

Congress sources said Mukherjee strongly defended the government's decision and asked party MPs not to oppose it because it was taken in the interest of the nation.

The meeting assumes significance in the wake of opposition to the move from within the party.

First Published: Nov 30, 2011 12:26 IST