Faced with a deadlock in Parliament over FDI in retail, the government has convened an all-party meeting in New Delhi on Monday as the Left and the Right have remained adamant on discussion under a rule that entails voting.
Convened by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, the meeting comes at a time when the first two days of the winter session last week saw Parliament being paralysed on the issue.
The stalemate has continued since the start of the session on November 22 with the government showing no signs of yielding to the opposition demand. There has been no word from the government on whether it would accept the opposition demand, but the United Progressive Alliance's floor managers are said to be working overtime to ensure adequate numbers to ward off any threat in the event of a vote.
Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj has insisted on a vote on the issue saying this was necessary because the government has violated its assurance in Parliament that FDI in multi-brand retail will not be implemented till a consensus is reached among all stakeholders.
Parliament members can express their opinion only this way and 'that is why we are pressing for a discussion under Rule 184', which entails voting, is the refrain of Swaraj. The Left also wants a discussion under rule 184.
The problems of the government have been further compounded by the DMK. Party chief M Karunanidhi had told reporters in Chennai recently that his party does not favour the decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail.