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Four-day Lok Sabha logjam over FDI ends

November 29, 2012 12:21 IST

The four-day logjam in Lok Sabha over foreign direct investment in retail ended Thursday with Speaker Meira Kumar allowing a discussion on the subject under a rule that entails voting.

"I have received 30 notices for discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail under Rule 184. I have admitted the motion to allow the discussion. The date and the time will be decided later," the speaker announced in the House.

Her observation came minutes after the Leader of the House Sushilkumar Shinde, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamalnath and Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj met her in her chamber before the House met for the day.

The government had on Wednesday itself given clear signals that it has no problem in having a discussion on FDI under a rule that entails voting after Nath held consultations with Swaraj and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley.

Swaraj welcomed the decision of the speaker. "I welcome the decision. I assure you smooth functioning of the House," she said immediately after the speaker allowed it.

Parliament has not been functioning since winter session began on November 22 with the Left and the Right making a common cause on the demand for a discussion under a rule that entails voting.

An indication of a resolution to the logjam was available in the morning itself when Kamalnath told reporters that he was hopeful that Parliament will run smoothly.

Yielding to opposition pressure, government agreed to the measure to discuss the issue under Rule 184 to ensure "smooth functioning" of the House as opposition parties stuck to their demand.

Parliament failed to transact any business for four consecutive days 22 despite government's efforts to break the logjam over FDI through an all-party meeting.

The all- party meeting on Monday saw Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party providing comfort to the government by not insisting on voting. UPA constituent Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which has been opposing FDI in multi-brand retail, also finally agreed to vote with the government.

Trinamool Congress, which had given a notice for no-confidence motion last week over FDI issue, had sprung a surprise by not pressing for vote during the meeting.

 TMC MPs, however, protested against FDI at Parliament gate on Thursday and shouted slogans against the UPA government over its measures like FDI in multi-brand retail and proposed pension reforms.

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