BSP votes in favour, SP walks out of House

The UPA Government succeeded in getting Rajya Sabha’s nod for implementing FDI in multi-brand retail.

The Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party bailed out the Centre on the issue.

While the nine members of the SP walked out of the House protesting the “direction-less” speech of Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, the BSP members voted in favour of the Government’s policy in the Upper House. In the Lok Sabha, too, BSP and SP had walked out, helping the Government to muster a majority.

In all, 123 members voted against and 109 MPs voted in favour of the motion demanding withdrawal of decision to bring FDI in retail, moved by AIADMK leader V. Maitreyan. Maitreyan said the next Government at the Centre would revoke the UPA’s decision.

The Government said Parliament had exposed the intentions of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath rubbished the BJP’s claims that votes were bought by the Government in both the Houses.

“When someone votes in their favour, then there is no CBI, and when someone votes against them, then CBI comes into play. This exposes the intention and thought process of the BJP,” he said.

The BJP said SP and BSP had to be blamed for the defeat of the Opposition’s motions.

Senior party leader, Venkaiah Naidu said the BJP would expose the two parties by holding campaigns in Uttar Pradesh that they colluded and helped the UPA at the last moment by making lame excuses.

The CPI (M) said the debate revealed that an overwhelming number of political parties were not in favour of allowing FDI in retail trade. The party’s Polit Bureau said in a statement that the Government was able to manoeuvre to get the motion defeated because of the dubious position adopted by SP and BSP.

Justifying its support to the Government, the BSP said the Opposition, otherwise, would have forced the Government to put the Food Security Bill and Reservations in Promotions Bill in cold storage.

jigeesh.am@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 7, 2012)
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