New Delhi: Faced with a deadlock in Parliament over FDI in retail, the government on Monday has called an all-party meeting to resolve the stalemate. Sources told CNN-IBN that the Congress may agree to a vote if it's sure of winning. The meeting will be convened by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath. The meeting was called after no work was done in the first two days of the Winter Session last week.
The BJP continues to demand a discussion under rule 184 which entails voting. The left also wants a discussion under rule 184 and is likely to vote against government. After its failed 'no-confidence motion' bid, the Trinamool Congress will vote against the government if a discussion under rule 184 is held.
While the Samajwadi Party remains opposed to FDI in retail, it could abstain from voting and bail out the government. And BSP Chief Mayawati has asked her MPs to not to side with the opposition against the government and she too may bail out the government by abstaining.
The JD(U) wants a discussion on FDI but isn't insisting on a vote. UPA's ally DMK wants the govt to avoid a vote but may bailout the government by abstaining to vote.
There has been no word from the government on whether it would accept the opposition demand, but UPA floor managers are said to be working overtime to ensure adequate numbers to ward off any threat in the event of a vote.
Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj has insisted on a vote on the issue saying this was necessary because the government has violated its assurance in Parliament that FDI in multi-brand retail will not be implemented till a consensus is reached among all stakeholders.
Parliament members can express their opinion only this way and "that is why we are pressing for a discussion under Rule 184," which entails voting, is the refrain of Swaraj. The Left also wants a discussion under rule 184. The problems of the government have been further compounded by the DMK. Party chief M Karunanidhi had told reporters in Chennai recently that his party does not favour the decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail.
With additional information from PTI