The suggestion that the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party voted against the Opposition motion on FDI because of the fear of the BJP’s sectarian politics and that they viewed the resolution against FDI in multi-brand retail “in the context of the survival of a secular government at the Centre” is unacceptable (“Who’s afraid of moral defeat?” Dec. 7). The argument of convenience advanced by the two parties is clearly superficial.
The Left parties are no less secular than the SP and the BSP, which had for long publicly and vocally opposed FDI but during the crucial and decisive moment, failed to demonstrate the guts to practise what they preached. Thanks to the allegations of corruption against the chiefs of the parties, their vulnerability was exploited by the Congress to its advantage. UPA-2 is too thick-skinned to be sensitive to political morality.
The FDI vote was an indicator to the political realignment under way. Although the SP and the BSP opposed FDI in retail, they went along with the UPA government during the FDI vote. It is clear that SP chief Mulayam Singh cannot become a leader of a non-BJP or non-Congress front. He could be an ally of the Congress after the next general election in 2014. The BSP will continue to be a post-poll force if it can muster enough seats in the election.
The voting pattern in the Lok Sabha showed that economic issues matter more to all political stakeholders today. Communal and caste-based issues may not be the deciding factors in the next election.
C. Koshy John,
In a U-turn on her opposition to FDI in retail, BSP chief Mayawati has voted in favour of the UPA government in the Rajya Sabha. Such opportunism from politicians is hardly surprising.
Parliament is the highest forum of expression of people’s will. On FDI, the will of the majority was against it and was expressed in the Lok Sabha debate. But it did not prevail because of some parties which said one thing and did another. They not only betrayed their constitutional obligation but also their constituency.
Keywords: FDI issue