Decision to Raise FDI Issue Taken at NDA Meeting: BJP

BJP today decided to insist on a discussion on FDI in retail in Parliament under a rule that entails voting, citing a "bigger" Opposition unity on the issue in preference to supporting the no-confidence motion of the Trinamool Congress.

"In our BJP and later the NDA meeting, it was decided that we would raise the demand for discussion on FDI in retail issue under Rule 184 in the Lok Sabha and similar provisions in the Rajya Sabha which entail voting. Government has shown disrespect to Parliament by not agreeing to a debate under this rule," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.

The UPA government is of the view that since the FDI decision was taken through an executive order, there is no need for voting in Parliament on the matter.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had given a notice under Rule 184 while her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley gave a similar notice under Rule 167.

Opposition unity may be one factor but others pointed out that the FDI in retail issue has also helped BJP keep the corruption issue on the backburner in view of the fact that its president Nitin Gadkari himself is facing allegations.

BJP sources said Swaraj and other senior leaders felt FDI should be given preference over other issues as most Opposition parties were on board for voting on it. The party also felt this would force UPA ally DMK and supporting party SP- which have openly come out against FDI- to take a stand in Parliament.

Hussain said though BJP has been clear from the beginning that the UPA government should be thrown out, Trinamool chief Mamta Banerjee did not get in touch with it or with parties like AIADMK- which are opposed to FDI- to solicit support for its no-confidence motion.

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