While Parliament continues to be stalled, the UPA is putting up a united front on FDI in multi-brand retail. After the UPA coordination committee meet on Tuesday in New Delhi, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the decision on FDI vote in the Lok Sabha will be taken by the Speaker. He said that the sense of the House was not for voting, but a discussion on FDI, which will be conveyed to the Speaker.
"We will speak to the Speaker and the Speaker will take a decision. The sense of the House is not for voting. We are not concerned about any vote. We continue to be clear in our mind," Kamal Nath said.
Coming out of the meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was assured of the numbers. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is also Leader of the Lok Sabha, said, "By Monday, everything would be decided and everything would be settled."
UPA met a day after the all-party meeting convened by the government to break the deadlock. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Defence Minister A K Antony, RLD's Ajit Singh, DMK's TR Baalu, NCP's Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and Finanace Minister P Chidambaram were among those present.
This came right after the DMK announced its support to the government in case of voting on the issue.
Parliament, meanwhile, was a no-show again for the fourth consecutive day with both Houses being adjourned following noisy scenes. The Opposition continued to demand discussion on FDI under rule 184 that entails voting.
Samajwadi Party said that it was against FDI but voting was not the only way to show dissent. SP leader Naresh Aggarwal said, "We are strictly against FDI. We will not let the policy be implemented in UP. We want a discussion in Parliament on FDI. Who says a vote on the issue is the only way to express dissent?"