After it has practically negated the no-confidence motion by the Trinamool Congress
The Bharatiya Janata Party is in no mood to give up its demand for a discussion on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail in Parliament under Rule 184 that entails voting.
At a dinner meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, top BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley conveyed to him the reasons for the party insisting on a voting motion.
Having negated the no-confidence motion moved by the Trinamool Congress in the Lok Sabha without saying it in so many words, the party has few options to go back on its demand for a debate under Rule 184.
“In our BJP, and later at an NDA meeting, it was decided that we would raise the demand for a discussion on FDI in retail under Rule 184 in the Lok Sabha and similar provisions in the Rajya Sabha that entail voting. The government has shown disrespect to Parliament by not agreeing to a debate under this rule,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
Ms. Swaraj, who is the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, gave notice under Rule 184 while her Rajya Sabha counterpart, Arun Jaitley, gave a similar notice under Rule 167.
Senior party leaders said two factors drove the party to give preference to a voting motion on FDI rather than a no-trust move. In the assessment of the party, a no-trust move would only help the United Progressive Alliance as it can muster the numbers. The leaders are also of the view that without adequate preparations, a no-trust vote could have serious ramifications.
The party leaders felt that voting on FDI would force UPA ally Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and supporting party Samajwadi Party — which have openly come out against FDI — to take a stand in Parliament.
Mr. Hussain said though the BJP had been clear from the beginning that the UPA government should be thrown out, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee did not get in touch with it or with parties such as the AIADMK — which are opposed to FDI — to solicit support for its no-confidence motion.
The BJP said only Trinamool leader Kalyan Banerjee reached out to the party. It denied reports that Ms. Banerjee contacted Ms. Swaraj for support. Mr. Hussain said the BJP wanted to expose parties such as the SP, whose chief Mulayam Singh Yadav took part in street protests on the FDI issue but was now keeping everybody guessing on whether his party wanted voting in Parliament on it.