FDI Vote: Govt Confident of Numbers in RS After LS Win
Buoyed by Lok Sabha's approval of its decision on FDI in multi-brand retail, Government tonight expressed confidence it will muster the numbers in Rajya Sabha also to defeat the Opposition motion against the contentious measure.

"FDI policy that we have put in place has the approval of this House," a beaming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters immediately after the Opposition motion seeking immediate withdrawal of the decision was rejected marked by a walkout by BSP and SP from the Lower House.

Rejecting the allegations of Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj that CBI was used to ensure that SP and BSP do not vote against the government, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said, " this is a rejection of the politics of the BJP. They had FDI in their manifesto. Swaraj has lost her cool because the motion moved by her has got defeated. She is frustrated".

The minister said that the motion of the BJP fell in the House and SP and BSP walked out as they realized that BJP was only doing politics on the issue.

Asked how will the government manage the numbers in Rajya Sabha to defeat this motion on which the debate starts in the Upper House tomorrow, Kamalnath said "its true that our numbers are less in Rajya Sabha but we are fully confident that we will win there as well....I do not think that the numbers are against us in the Rajya Sabha."

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid also rejected the allegations of the use of CBI by Swaraj adding "it is not proper for anybody to raise questions on the entire system only because of the failure of any step by anybody."

"The result in the House is a vindication of what we had brought to the House" when asked whether he takes the defeat of the Opposition motion on FDI in Lok Sabha as a vindication of the government's decision.

Khurshid also rejected the Opposition criticism of the SP and BSP for staging walk out after protesting the government's FDI move saying "parties sometimes support with voting and sometimes without voting. Walk-out is very much a part of the Parliamentary system. We should respect those who helped us by noting voting with the Opposition motion."

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, who was the first speaker from the government side in Lok Sabha, told reporters that the result was a "victory of democracy".

Sibal also ridiculed Swaraj's contention in the House that that parties having a total of 282 members opposed FDI. "We do not believe in Sushma's arithmetic. We believe in the arithmetic of democracy".

He said that the Leader of Opposition should show magnanimity and accept graciously if the motion moved by her in the House was negatived. Khurshid also said that one should accept with courage the fact even if some motion brought by one fails.

"If you do not understand my points even after a debate for two days, then people of the country will tell, who was confused," Sibal retorted when asked about Swaraj's remark that Sibal was confused while presenting Government's case during the debate in Lok Sabha.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said that it was a defeat of the politics to divide secular parties.

"Unfortunately Communist parties and TMC sat in the lap of BJP. This was an attempt by the BJP to destabilise the government," he added.
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