Smooth sailing for govt on retail FDI vote in Rajya Sabha
While the BSP, as announced, voted with the government against the opposition motion seeking withdrawal of the decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, the SP walked out of the house. A similar motion was defeated in the Lok Sabha Wednesday.
The outcome of the vote was on expected lines as the BSP, which has 15 members, had made it clear Thursday that it would bail the government out in the upper house, where the numbers are not in the favour of the UPA. But the absence of three TDP members - including its leader in the house T Devender Goud - during voting came as a surprise.
Suspended JD(U) MP Upendra Kushwaha voted for the government. Party leader Shivanand Tiwari said it would move for his disqualification for violation of the party whip. JMM MP Sanjiv Kumar too was absent.
The TDP had strongly opposed FDI in multi-brand retail and its chief Chandrababu Naidu had courted arrest along with Left leaders as part of a nationwide bandh called by opposition parties in September. TDP leaders were at a loss to explain the absence of Goud, Y S Chowdary and Gundu Sudharani during the vote, which came after two