Oppn Set to Corner Govt on FDI in Parliament
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The opposition strategy to corner the government in Parliament against FDI in retail gathered further momentum with NDA deciding to move a motion under voting provision even as the BJP-led grouping sought to keep Trinamool Congress in good humour on the no-confidence motion.

However, the government showed no signs of worry saying it had the numbers to face even a no-confidence motion on which only the TMC seems to be very keen.

"NDA will move a resolution under voting provisions seeking disapproval of the government's decision (to permit FDI in multi-brand retail) and urging the government to withdraw the decision," said a statement of the grouping after a 90-minute meeting here today.

The NDA, which met under the chairmanship of L K Advani to finalise its strategy in the Winter Session of Parliament beginning Thursday, appealed to all the political parties which extended support to the nation-wide bandh against the government's FDI decision to support the motion.

The NDA's decision today was almost on the lines of the strategy decided by CPI-M yesterday which said it was keen to go with parties opposed to FDI on a motion that entails voting.

The CPI-M had said the government had numbers and a defeat of the no-confidence motion would give it a look of invincibility, a view BJP leaders also privately shared.

With Trinamool Congress almost isolated in the opposition over its plans to bring a no-confidence motion, the NDA said it has decided to consult all political parties to bring a no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha, in an apparent attempt to keep Trinamool on its side.

"This government has failed on all the fronts and the time has come for it go. The NDA would consult all political parties to explore the possibility of a no-confidence motion against the government," the NDA statement read out by BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

"The NDA appeals to all political parties which supported the Bharat bandh against the decision to bring FDI in retail to cooperate in this disapproval of the decision," it said. 

On her part, Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee stuck to her guns on the no-confidence motion but said she has no hesitation to support any Left-sponsored no-trust move.

"If necessary, I am even prepared to go to CPI-M state party headquarters in Alimuddin Street and talk to its secretary Biman Bose," she told reporters in Kolkata.

DMK, the second largest party in the UPA with 18 MPs, kept the government on tenterhooks declaring its opposition to FDI policy but it was not known how the party would vote in case of a voting either on a no-confidence motion or a 184 resolution.

The AIADMK, meanwhile, kept the suspense on its strategy on a no-confidence motion but declared that it was opposed to FDI in retail and there was no going back on it.

At present, the government enjoys the support of about 265 MPs, including 18 of DMK, in a house of 545. With the support of Samajwadi Party (22) and BSP (21), the backing for the ruling coalition goes a little over 300, which is comfortable over the required 273 in Lok Sabha.

BSP and SP together or individually have not shown signs of withdrawing support so far.

New Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath expressed confidence about government's numbers maintaining that it was upto the Speaker to decide the form under which a discussion could be taken up.

"We are confident of our numbers ... We are not a government without numbers. As and when required we will establish it on the floor of the House," Nath said.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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