At variance with and less strident than Left and BJP though JD(U) belongs to NDA

After nearly two weeks of disruption, Parliament should function. That was the view of Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav ahead of an all-party meeting convened by the government on Wednesday morning to discuss the issue of Foreign Direct Investment in retail.

Mr. Yadav's stance appeared less strident than that of the Left and the Bharatiya Janata Party, though his party is a partner in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

Await all-party meet

“I am in favour of Parliament functioning normally. Chalna chahiye [It should run]. We will see what happens at the all-party meeting tomorrow [Wednesday]. But one thing is clear: I will speak strongly in favour of Parliament functioning after so many days of stalling,” he told The Hindu.

The BJP has not directly stated it will not relent even in the face of the government's signal that it was willing to hold back implementing the policy cleared by the Cabinet for 51 per cent FDI in retail till a broader political consensus emerges, but it has kept its options open. Party leaders have refused to say much except to signal they will take a call after hearing what the government has to say at the all-party meeting.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Prakash Karat has indicated the Left would insist on a “rollback” of the FDI move rather than just non-implementation.

‘Counter-productive'

There is a strong view among Opposition leaders that disrupting and stalling Parliament continuously on different issues could be counter-productive politically as important issues such as inflation and black money are yet to be discussed.

At the same time, the Opposition is also looking at the possibility of censuring the government on the FDI issue in the event of an adjournment motion on the subject being admitted and put to vote.

There is the temptation it could further embarrass the government by forcing it to announce a withdrawal of the FDI proposal, instead of just holding it back.

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