FDI issue: govt confident of numbers in RS

SP not to back UPA

PTI | December 6, 2012



Bouyed by its win in Lok Sabha on FDI issue, the government today said it is confident of a victory in Rajya Sabha as well though the numbers are close even as SP made it clear it will not support UPA during voting on the issue in the Upper House.

"I am fully confident that BJP's politics will be defeated. Congress won in Lok Sabha and we will win in Rajya Sabha as well. Numbers are close but clear," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters outside Parliament House.

Asked how the government will manage the numbers in the Upper House with the Opposition having a majority, he said, "Let me handle it."

Kamal Nath's views were echoed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram. "The debate will happen and the government will win the vote," he said.

Samajwadi Party, which had spoken against FDI in retail decision during the debate in Lok Sabha but staged a walkout before the vote, said its Rajya Sabha members will take a call on the issue when it is put to vote tomorrow in the Upper House.

"We will definitely not vote with the government, that much we can say," SP Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agrawal said

NCP leader and party MP D P Tripathi said, "NCP is very sure that FDI in retail should be implemented. Our party is very clear on this issue. It is not divided and has no reservations as far as FDI is concerned. It is a Fair Direct Investment."

Tripathi said NCP will discuss the FDI issue at the party's coordination committee meeting. Party leader Praful Patel and Maharashtra NCP chief Madhukar Pichad had said they do not support bringing FDI in retail in the state.

The NCP leader defended the FDI decision, saying it is in national interest. "Everybody understands this. Some understood it early and some later." He denied that the government had used any unfair means to win the vote in Lok Sabha.

Hitting out at NCP and the government, TMC MP Vivek Gupta told reporters, "NCP's Maharashtra chief has said he is against FDI. I am confused about their stand. If something is against a state how can it be good for the country."

TMC MP Derek O'Brien said the government's "devious methods" will not help it in Rajya Sabha. "This government is in a minority since TMC withdrew support. It will have to go.

No amount of match-fixing will help the government," he said.

BJP and the Left attacked the government on the issue.

"We are confident of winning in Rajya Sabha as the numbers there are not in favour of the government... We will have to see how effective CBI will be. The mood of the nation is against FDI," BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said.

He alleged that some parties which are opposed to FDI, voted in support of the government due to political compulsions and the "fear" of CBI.

D Raja (CPI) said the tone and tenor of the debate on FDI yesterday in Lok Sabha and the sense of the House was against the decision. "Let us see how these parties (SP, BSP) vote. We hope the situation will be different in Rajya Sabha," he said.

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