FDI Govt wins debate with 253 to 218 voting against. SP & BSP walked out to hide intention to abstain

Aided by the absence of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance government won the debate on allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail in the Lok Sabha and the enabling rules: but the victory was numerical, not ideological.

Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj pointed out that 14 out of 18 spoke against FDI in retail, with only four speaking in its favour. “Going by their speeches, the numbers should actually translate into 282 MPs against FDI in retail and 224 MPs in favour of FDI in retail,” Swaraj said.

The final number in favour of the government decision, was 253 with 218 voting against.

SP with 22 MPs and BSP with 21 MPs walked out of the House before the voting. Of the 501 members in the House, only 471 voted. As there were no abstentions, several opted not to vote while being present. The walkout brought down the House strength to 502 and the halfway mark required to win the vote fell to 251. The government ally Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) said yesterday it was opposed to the decision to allow FDI in retail but its MPs were present and voted in the House today.

After Tuesday’s furious debate, today, the accent of the speeches made by the government side was on how the move would help farmers, strengthen the procurement process and modernise agri-markets. The star speakers from UPA were Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Minister for Heavy Industry Praful Patel and young Congress MPs from Rohtak and Mathura, Depinder Hooda and Jayant Choudhary. While Hooda described himself as the son of a farmer and said farmers would gain from agricultural innovations taught to them by retailers.

Choudhary said there was difference between Opposition to foreign investment in retail and Opposition to organised retail per se. He said agriculture needed capital and FDI would be one source.

The Opposition refrain that not only was FDI in retail bad for the country, there was also no parliamentary consensus on it.

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said, the FDI would make India eternally dependent on foreign funding.

“FDI in retail is not an end. It is a signal. The government wants to give a signal to the whole community of multi-national companies; to make India the most favoured destination of foreign investors. Is it the right strategy? Has anybody raised the question of overdependence on the overflow of foreign funds in a situation when India is hit by slowdown and sky-high inflation of food products?” he asked.

Harsimrat Badal of the Akali Dal admitted that in 2011 when FDI in retail was first mooted, the Akali Dal supported it. But “when we heard about the jobs that would be lost because of this” the party revisited the policy.

Earlier, replying to the debate, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said, the FDI policy was a guiding policy and it was up to the states to accept or not accept it. “No one can tell an elected government what to choose and what not to,” he said.

The policy allows only cities with more than 10 lakh population to set up retail outlets with foreign investment in them. Though 53 cities will comply with this condition but with only 10 states and union territories agreeing to permit FDI in multi-brand retail, just about 18 cities in the country would roll out foreign-owned stores.

He countered the charge that stakeholders were not taken on board despite a commitment by Pranab Mukherjee, the then finance minister and leader of the house that no decision would be taken without a consensus. “After December 7, we spoke to farmers’ bodies again. Twelve such bodies were called. Consumer forums were also called and consulted – 17 of them and six bodies of food processing industries gave us their views in writing.” The government had also sent letters to all chief ministers after which 11 states were in favour, seven opposed and three states asked for further clarifications, he said. All this was contradicted by the Opposition.

The debate will now shift to the Rajya Sabha where it will be cut-throat because the UPA does not have a majority and will have to depend on walk-outs and abstentions.



About janamejayan

A Viraat Hindu dedicated to spread the message of Paramacharya of Kanchi
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3 Responses to FDI Govt wins debate with 253 to 218 voting against. SP & BSP walked out to hide intention to abstain

  1. Raman says:

    No wonder spineless people like Mulayam,Mayavati,DMK MPs support Congress from inside and outside such results are bound to happen.Elangovan of DMK in his speech said that they oppose FDI but will vote for the Govt as the party does not want to support the communal BJP.Same arguments from Mulayam and Maya.Strange when the debate on FDI has no relevance to communalism they quote they don’t want to vote just to keep the communal BJP at bay.Then why shuld they protest against FDI?Protesting and after that abstaining is very strange.DMK of course voted as said by Elangovan.But where is communalism comes in a debate on FDI.The fact is DMK,BSP have no relevance in their states as ADMK and SP are ruling.DMK does not want to displease Congress as without the help of Congress they will lose not only centre but also 2G case against Kanimozhi.That is the real problem with DMK.For SP,BSP cases against them by CBI put the fear of God in their minds and hence their abstentation ostensibly with the approval of Congress.In this Kamalnath played a very good part.
    In Lok Sabha BSP create problems of bringing the issue of quota which stalls the functioning of RS for days.Kamalnath will see the minds of Mulayam and Maya and may ask them to adopt the same tactics by abstaining from voting and that may get the Govt the numbers of course with the support of independents who form abt 12 votes.If he feels that they won’t agree then he will tell Maya and Mulayam to block the proceedings and played the tricks that Congress did during the Lokpal bill and then put the blame on BJP.The possibility for no discussions is more than discussion and voting.The whole objection by SP and BSP is the plot of Congress not to run the house for days and the same will happen tomorrow and day after also and allowed the FDI matter to lapse in the RS for now.
    Just by getting the FDI motion passed money is not going to flow from US as US itself is in doldrums and Walmart is facing serous crisis there and so they won’t invest in a country where nothing can be predictable and they won’t desire to lose their money in a country of instability when most of the states are against FDI.So all will be white washed.This game is only an election stunt for next LS and to say that the country could not prosper becoz of the obstinacy of BJP and Left and fooll the people.Before investing all the MNCs will study the nature of economy of the country and in the present day nobody will invest in India and wished to lose their money.So FDI motion will go the same way of Lokpal.That is why Sonia expressed her happiness in getting the motion rejected and said she does not bohe abt RS as she knows if numbers won’t come SP,BSP will create problems and stall the proceedings.Great woman in the form of a witch.

    • janamejayan says:


      BSP, SP, Lalu, DMK etc take stand that favours them to amass wealth. Whatever they say to justify their action is for people like us to grouse about! DMK courted and supported and joined BJP’s NDA right after Babri Masjid was pulled down and they never talked of the communalism of BJP!

  2. YLNRao says:

    Congress has been very brazen in its attempts to implement whatever sonia thinks is good for her (and obviously not the country). Extrapolating this further, we may conclude that we will be seeing the emergence of UPA-III, thanks to the skills it has developed in arm-twisting, manipulation, blackmail etc. Likewise, I expect that the EVMs will continue to be used in the coming general elections, for helping the congress win the elections. So, be prepared for UPA’s rule until 2019 and probably, we won’t be needing elections anyway to rule the country further.
    It is in our psyche. We are our own enemies; we don’t need external enemies. Otherwise, how could Mughals and the British rule over us for centuries together?

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