All eyes on Rajya Sabha; no separate vote on Fema
Congress Party, which earlier managed to convince ally DMK, seemed to have struck a bargain with BSP on the issue in return for pushing a Bill that allows reservation for scheduled castes and tribes in government job promotions. If BSP and SP abstain from voting in Lok Sabha, the majority requirement in the 545 set house may come down to 251 from 273, while those oppose FDI have a strength of about 219. In the 244 member Rajya Sabha too, where voting is expected on Friday, the ruling coalition which has only 94 members will need outside support of independents and other parties. BSP and SP together have 24 MPs in the House.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said small traders would not be able to compete with big retailers. He said the decision to allow foreign-owned supermarkets would lead to unemployment. “With Lok Sabha elections near, FDI in retail sector might not be politically correct for the Congress,” he said during the debate, while urging the government to drop the decision.
Any move by the government to club the voting on FDI in retail and the RBI amendments to FEMA on the same issue would be “highly irregular” and contrary to the law, CPI(M) said. Senior leader Sitaram Yechury said his party would not only move amendments to the RBI amendments to FEMA, but could also seek the annulment of the notification allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.
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