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Winter freeze in Parliament? BJP to oppose FDI in retail

November 14, 2012 15:31 IST
Refusing to give up on the Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail issue, which could affect its core vote bank of small traders, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday said it will oppose the government decision in Parliament and try to build a joint strategy with National Democratic Alliance partners and other political parties.

"The BJP will strongly oppose the government decision on FDI in multi-brand retail in the forthcoming winter session of the Parliament. This decision is not in the interest of the country," party chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

He announced that the BJP will discuss its strategy with other NDA partners and also get in touch with political parties which have reservations on the issue.

The NDA allies are likely to hold a meeting on November 21, a day before the winter session begins.

"We would like to put the government on the mat on this issue. In November 2011, the then finance minister had announced in the Lok Sabha that a decision on FDI in multi-brand retail will be taken only after consulting all concerned sections. A similar statement was made by the then commerce minister in the Rajya Sabha," Prasad said.

The BJP charged that this promise has been violated by the government as it has taken the decision unilaterally. But the principal opposition is not yet clear to what extent it will go against the government in the Parliament.

Though the opposition claims to have support of majority of MPs in both Houses on the issue, the NDA is unlikely to press for a vote on the issue.

Asked if the BJP and the NDA would rally behind Mamata Banerjee's

Trinamool Congress in case it seeks division of votes to embarrass the government, the party said it will decide its future course of action in the NDA meeting.

The Left parties are also opposed to the decision.

But the opposition designs may be thwarted by the chair in both Houses if it denies permission for a motion on the issue. The government has the right to bring FDI in multi-brand retail through an executive decision. A discussion without voting is, however, possible.

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