New Delhi: Friday, 3:40 PM - The government on Friday won the approval of Parliament to its controversial decision of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail with a motion against it being defeated convincingly in Rajya Sabha, as the BSP voted in favour of the UPA.
After a two-day animated debate during which the Opposition attacked the proposal to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, 123 members voted against the motion while 109 voted in favour. The government strongly justified the FDI move saying it was in the best interest of the country.
Samajwadi Party, which has nine members in the House, staged a walkout expressing dissatisfaction over Commerce Minister Anand Sharma’s reply.
The defeat of the motion moved by AIADMK member V. Maitreyan in the Rajya Sabha came two days after the Lok Sabha voted out a similar motion, paving the way for entry of global supermarkets like Walmart into the country.
The government’s victory in the Rajya Sabha, where the UPA lacks a majority of its own, came with the help of 15-member BSP, which had walked out of the Lok Sabha during voting on the issue. The UPA has 94 members in the Upper House which has an effective strength of 244.
Sachin Tendulkar, nominated member who is playing test match in Kolkata, Murli Deora (Congress), who is unwell, and rebel BJD leader Pyari Mohan Mahapatra were absent.
Friday, 3:10 PM -Big win for UPA-2; wins in Rajya Sabha with 123 votes
Friday, 2:50 PM - Samajwadi Party walks out of Rajya Sabha!
Friday, 1:20 PM -Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2:30 PM.
Friday, 12:40 PM - Amar Singh, expelled from the Samajwadi Party, came out in open defence of BSP supremo Mayawati. He slammed BJP leader Sushma Swaraj. “When Maywati supports the BJP, then she is right. But, when she supports Congress, suddenly, she is doing it out of fear of the CBI and she is a corrupt person. What kind of hypocrisy is this?” Amar Singh asked.
Friday, 12:00 PM -Lok Janshakti Party President Ram Vilas Paswan has backed UPA govt's move, dubbing FDI in retail as 'farmer friendly'.
Friday, 10:45 AM -Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday called on all the nominated members of UPA ahead of FDI voting in Rajya Sabha leaving no stone unturned to make UPA win in the Upper House of the Parliament.
Earlier, on Thursday, Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party had promised to vote in favour of FDI in the Rajya Sabha, giving much relief to the UPA govt which is bracing for a crucial vote in Rajya Sabha on Friday. This could help the UPA government scrape through by a whisker and win today's vote in the Rajya Sabha, where it is in a minority.
Samajwadi Party, whose support would be dearly required by UPA, however, maintained ambiguity over its stance during voting while asking the government to do a rethink on the FDI policy.
The controversial decision on FDI, which was approved convincingly by Lok Sabha on Wednesday, was hotly debated in the 244-member upper house where the ruling UPA does not have a majority of its own as its strength is only 94 and is heavily dependent on parties like BSP and SP.