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Government wins voting over FDI in Lok Sabha Last Updated : 06 Dec 2012 11:37:08 AM IST FDI vote in Lok Sabha :Look at the numbers scenario
FDI in multi-brand retail on Wednesday got the approval of the Lok Sabha as the Opposition motion was rejected convincingly as BSP and SP walked out.
218 voted in favour of the Opposition motion, while 253 voted against it in the House where 471 members participated in the voting. The total strength of the House is 545.
The House also rejected the motion seeking amendment to the rules notified by the Reserve Bank under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to enable FDI in multi-brand retail.
While 254 voted in favour of the government, 224 were against.
Members of SP and BSP, with respective strength of 22 and 21, did not participate in the voting as they walked out alleging that interests of farmers and small retailers had been ignored.
LS approves FDI in retail, rejects Opposition motion:
The victory of the government after two days of heated debate was immediately hailed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
"FDI policy that we have put in place has the approval of this House (Lok Sabha)," said Singh, who is a member of Rajya Sabha but was present during the voting in the Lower House.
This was after a gap of many years that an executive decision of the government was put to vote in Parliament.
Earlier, replying to the discussion, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma dismissed the Opposition charge that the move would hurt small traders and farmers and that the government has rushed the decision.
He said the decision was not taken overnight and deliberations were held with chief ministers and other stake holders like association of farmers, consumer organisations and representatives of the food processing industry.
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, who had moved the motion, maintained that majority of the House was against FDI in retail which was reflected in speeches of leaders of different political parties.
NDA (152) + Left (24) + TMC (19) = 195
SP (22) + BSP(21) = 43
Because of the abstentions, the total strength reduces to 501 and the halfway mark comes down to 251.
House strength: 244 ,Halfway mark: 122
UPA 90 + RJD 2 + Nominated 10 = 102
UPA short by 20
NDA (66) + LEFT (14) + TMC (9) + ADMK 7 + BJD 5 = 101
Opposition short by 21
UPA outside support
BSP (15) + SP (9) = 24
If this group votes for FDI, the 'for FDI' number goes up to 126. If this group votes against FDI, the against FDI number goes up to 125. But if this group abstains House strength comes down to 220 and the halfway mark becomes: 110.
For FDI = 102 (short by 8)
Against FDI = 101 (short by 7)
The motion on vote in the Lok Sabha
But if f the BSP and SP both abstain in the 545-seat Lok Sabha, the majority mark will come down from 273 to 251. The Congress and its UPA allies have 261 MPs.
While the parties who are not in favour of FDI add up to 219.
The Rajya Sabha will begin debating the issue on Thursday and will vote on Friday. In the Rajya Sabha, the government is in a distinct minority and will need more active support from the SP and the BSP. The Upper House has a strength of 244. Along with its allies, the UPA has a strength of 94 members. The 10 nominated members may go ahead to vote with the government.
BSP and SP likely to abstain from voting
SP and BSP have kept the UPA guessing so far. BSP chief Mayawati had on Monday said, "The SP is waiting to see what decision we will take and they want to follow us."
SP Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has already cautioned the Congress that the FDI decision would hurt its poll prospects and benefit the BJP, as he and BSP leader Dara Singh Chauhan counselled the government not to rush with its implementation.
In his speech, Mr Yadav appealed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, "There is Gandhi in your name...remember what he said...you are forgetting Swadeshi and getting in Videshi."
Big relief for UPA
Mamata Banerjee will support the UPA on the issue of enabling FEMA amendments at a later date. FDI in retail needs changes in the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), which also require parliamentary approval.
Asked said the role played by BSP and DMK in Parliament,Senior party leader Sitaram Yechury said these parties were part of the nationwide protests against the FDI move. "Communalism or secularism(being raised by them now) is not an issue. The real issue is the issue (of FDI) itself."
On Trinamool Congress, he said, "Let us see what they doby the time the voting takes place in Lok Sabha". Yechury had earlier attacked Mamata Banerjee's party for "saying something and doing something else."
Yechury also referred to a recent Supreme Court observation on a PIL that the amendments allowing FDI in
retail cannot be effected unless relevant sections of the FEMA Act are amended by Parliament. The observation came on a petition challenging the government's FDI policy and charging it with not following the due process of law.
With Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal leading the government in the FDI debate against BJP's Sushma Swaraj, the government expects to gain the numbers in a vote which will happen on Wednesday with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) likely to bail the government out.
Sushma Swaraj will respond to Kapil Sibal on Wednesday. Voting is expected to take place after 6 pm on a motion moved by the Opposition to disallow FDI in multi-brand retail and on FEMA. The Opposition will still insist on two separate votes, one on FDI in retail and one on FEMA.
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