The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which extend outside support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, on Thursday were ambiguous about the rule under which they wanted a discussion on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.
BSP supremo Mayawati has said whether there is a vote or not, her party will decide its stand on the floor of the House.
The SP said it was opposed to FDI in retail and wanted a discussion on the issue, but made it clear that it would not go along with the Bharatiya Janata Party on its demand for a debate under a rule that allows vote after discussion. “We are not for piggybacking on the BJP,” party general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav told journalists outside Parliament. It was the Speaker’s prerogative to decide under what rule she would allow a debate on the issue, he added.
Ms. Mayawati spoke to the media after the Rajya Sabha was adjourned, but remained non-committal on her stand. “The Centre should first decide under which rule it wants discussion in Parliament. First, the government has to decide, then we will decide our stand on the floor of the House,” she said.
Ahead of the winter session, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had separately met SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ms. Mayawati over dinner and lunch respectively to seek their support during the session. The SP has 22 members in the Lok Sabha and the BSP 21.
The BJP has demanded discussion under Rule 184, which entails voting and so have the Left parties.
JD(S) not in favour of no-confidence motion
The former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, said his party was against the government’s decision to allow FDI in retail, but it was not in favour of a no-confidence motion on the issue.
Speaking to The Hindu here, the Janata Dal (Secular) president said a no-confidence motion should be used only as a last resort.
The JD(S), which has three members in the Lok Sabha — Mr. Gowda, his son H.D. Kumaraswamy and party leader N. Chaluvaraya Swamy — recently passed a resolution against the decision to allow FDI in its national executive committee meeting.
Mr. Gowda said he was not in favour of obstructing the functioning of Parliament through forced adjournments.