UPA govt wins retail FDI vote in Rajya Sabha as SP walks out
Earlier, Sharma maintained that the move was essential for the country's growth and rejected the opposition contention that it would hurt the small retailers and farmers and harm the manufacturing sector.
The division of votes was marred by some technical glitches because of which the exercise had to be done again. The animated debate saw clashes between government and the opposition as the sides put forth their arguments and counter arguments.
Sharma questioned BJP's opposition to FDI in retail saying that when the party was in power, it had plans to allow FDI in retail up to the extent of 100 percent, which was countered vociferously by members from the BJP including Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley.
To justify his arguments, Sharma cited a report of a Committee of Planning Commission in 2002 headed by N K Singh, now a JD-U member of Rajya Sabha.
Sharma said the report had favoured up to 100 per cent FDI in retail be brought in as it will benefit both consumers and farmers.
Singh wanted to respond to it but the minister refused to yield leading to pandemonium with Trinamool Congress and Left showing solidarity with Singh and slamming the minister.
An angry Opposition accused Sharma of misleading the House and demanded an apology from the government as Singh said that the report had concluded that FDI in multi-brand retail was not in interest of the nation at this time.
The uproar led to abrupt adjournment of the House for over an hour.
Targetting Sharma, Jaitley said, "The