FDI war: BJP refuses to budge, Congress backs government (Second Intro Roundup)December 1st, 2011 - 12:47 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 30 (IANS) The deadlock over allowing foreign equity in India’s retail market deepened Wednesday as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rejected the government’s plea for toning down its adjournment motion on the issue and the Congress not favouring a rollback by the government.
BJP leader L.K. Advani conveyed to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee that the wording of the adjournment motion moved by the BJP on FDI in retail was non-negotiable, informed sources said.
At the end of the day, marked by intense political activity, Mukherjee called up Advani in another bid to end the deadlock over the FDI in multi-brand retail, but failed to make any headway.
Advani made it clear that the only way to go was to follow the suggestion given by Sushma Swaraj, the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, at the all-party meeting, chaired by Mukherjee, Tuesday.
Sushma Swaraj had suggested at the meeting that the government should roll back its decision on the FDI in retail and start a discussion on price rise before this issue was cleared by the union cabinet.
The latest move by Mukherjee to break the deadlock came even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to leaders of allies Trinamool Congress and DMK after attending a meeting of the Congress core committee to find a way out of the impasse in parliament on the FDI issue.
The BJP has demanded that normal business be suspended in parliament to focus on FDI with a strongly worded adjournment motion demanding revocation of the retail reforms. “If the government even wants to suggest they want to change the wording of the adjournment motion moved by me, I am making it clear there will be no change,” said the BJP’s Murli Manohar Joshi.
The Congress core committee met for a second time, in the evening, but failed to evolve a way out.
According to Congress sources, Manmohan Singh explained to leaders of the DMK and Trinamool, each of which have 18 Lok Sabha MPs, the need to avoid a political crisis over the FDI issue.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari confirmed the contact with the key allies but did not take any names. “It is a matter of coordination between us,” Tewari said.
Sources said the Congress strategy will be to ensure that the DMK and Trinamool MPs do not vote against the government if an adjournment motion that entails vote on FDI comes up in parliament.
The sources said the DMK has conveyed to the Congress that it would not vote against the government in parliament. The Congress is trying to win over the Trinamool.
Various traders’ organisations have called for nationwide protests Thursday over the decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail. However, industry lobbies like the CII and the FICCI have extended full support to the cabinet decision.
Despite tough opposition from the BJP and the Left parties, the Congress resolved there will be no rollback of the government decision to allow 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail and 100 percent in single-brand retail.
“The prime minister has made it clear that it is a well thought-out decision and the party supports it,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters.
Undeterred by the united opposition’s onslaught, the Congress declared that the government has the numbers in Parliament to face any adjournment motion.
“We have the numbers. We would not have done it without counting our flock,” party spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters. “This hair-splitting (about numbers) is not necessary, not called for,” he said.
Besides the opposition from outside, the Congress is also fighting a war within. At least two MPs have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to reverse the decision.
Mukherjee, the Congress’ troubleshooter, held a brief meeting with party president Sonia Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence before meeting party MPs to allay their apprehensions on the decision, sources said.
Top leaders of the Congress, including Manmohan Singh and Gandhi, held two meetings of the core group on how to resolve the crisis. The meeting of the Congress core group was held at the prime minister’s 7, Race Course Road official residence.
The party sources said that the highest decision making body of the party ruled out any question of withdrawing the decision or diluting it substantially. At the most, minor compromises like raising the cap on purchase from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) may be accepted, informed sources told IANS about the meeting.
- FDI war: Deadlock deepens, BJP rejects Congress truce offer (Intro Roundup) - Nov 30, 2011
- FDI deadlock deepens, Advani rejects Pranab's offer - Nov 30, 2011
- PM speaks to Trinamool, DMK on FDI (Lead) - Nov 30, 2011
- FDI war: Congress, opposition daggers drawn (Roundup) - Nov 30, 2011
- FDI roll back unlikely at all-party meeting - Nov 28, 2011
- Parliament logjam: Government may agree to adjournment motion - Nov 29, 2011
- FDI: Government mobilising numbers for adjournment motion, talks to allies (Roundup) - Dec 01, 2011
- Congress gives wholesale support to PM on retail FDI - Nov 30, 2011
- Heat on FDI grows, government calls all-party meeting - Dec 05, 2011
- Rollback FDI in retail to let parliament run: BJP - Nov 28, 2011
- All-party meeting called to end parliament stalemate - Dec 06, 2011
- No loss of face in decision to pause FDI in retail: Congress - Dec 07, 2011
- Congress core group discusses parliament stalemate over FDI - Dec 03, 2011
- FDI: Government mobilising numbers, may opt for parliament vote (Lead) - Dec 01, 2011
- Roll back FDI decision or get parliament nod, demands BJP - Nov 29, 2011
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