New Delhi: Soon after Opposition's motion on FDI in retail was defeated in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, BJP leder Sushma Swaraj said the government won a "technical fight" but lost on "moral grounds".
"This is the 3rd time that the government could not prove a simple majority in Parliament,” she said.
Strongly criticising the SP and the BSP for opposing the FDI but not "daring" to upset the government by voting against them, Swaraj said, “If they had voted along with us, the fates of 20 crore Indians would have been very different.”
She alleged SP and BSP dodged the FDI vote because of CBI.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad too reiterated the CBI angle by saying, “The CBI has won over the nation’s interests.”
SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal, minced no words, when she hinted at the possibility the UPA’s use of CBI to intimidate its truant allies.
“I think it should be renamed the Congress Bureau of Investigation. Some parties walked out under pressure, don’t know what kind of pressure it was. Hope that when farmers and traders lose their jobs people will remember that it happened because of the Congress and BSP,” she said.
On the other hand, happy over its victory in the House, the Congress said this is the victory of reform.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said that the fact that the Opposition’s motion was negated points at the victory of reforms.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his trademark style, mumbled into the mic. What could be made out of his statement was that he welcomed the win and that he believed the country stands to benefit from FDI in retail.
Kapil Sibal also welcomed the win saying the Opposition should now fall in line and stop opposing a measure beneficial for the country.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid added that it was the "confidence of people in the government", which has helped them win the vote.
“The people who had walked out have indirectly helped us. But that doesn’t mean there was any conspiracy involved. This is how democracy works,” said Khurshid.
He added that the government should not become overconfident and work in the best interest of the public.
Congress minister Rajeev Shukla thanked all the parties who have supported the government. He also urged Mamata Banerjee to not join hands with the BJP.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said, “It is not my victory. It is the victory of the people who oppose the politics of BJP.”
SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, however, said that the interests of the small traders and farmers were ignored in course of the debate and the voting though he didn’t explain clearly why he had refrained from voting against the government.