New Delhi: It was joy all over the Treasury benches as the opposition motion to withdraw the decision on FDI in retail was defeated in the Lok Sabha. Soon after the vote, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congratulated Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath for their efforts in ensuring the government's victory.
Singh was also seen greeting National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah and was full of praise for young member Deepender Hooda, who made a spirited defence of the policy of FDI in multi-brand retail.
Union Ministers and members lined up in the aisle to greet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Singh as they made their way out of the Lok Sabha. Rahul Gandhi was also seen shaking hand with the Prime Minister. The 10-hour high debate saw some light moments with Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj breaking into poetry to get even at leaders like Lalu Prasad (RJD) and the Treasury benches in general.
The House broke into laughter as Sushma took a dig at Deepender Hooda for allegedly promising to harvest two-feet long potatoes.
"Aapko gaanth kholna nahi aata, aur maskari ke alawa kuch bolna nahi aata' (you cannot resolve any problem and cannot speak anything other than poking fun)," Swaraj said addressing Prasad. "Tareekh ki nazron ne voh daur bhi dekha hai. Lamhon ne khata ki thi sadiyon ne saza payi (History is witness to such
situations when momentary mistakes have punished generations)," Swaraj said urging members to vote in favour of the motion moved by her.
As SP and BSP walked out saying they were not satisfied with the government's reply, there were shouts in the House that their action was "murder of democracy".
The House broke into laughter as Swaraj took a dig at Deepender Hooda (Congress) for allegedly promising to harvest two-feet long potatoes to meet the requirement of multi-national food chains. "Hooda was so excited while participating in the debate that he even harvested two-feet potatoes. Son, please understand the difference between a potato and a bottle gourd," she said leaving sections of the House in splits. Hooda had said that farmers in Haryana would deliver quality potatoes to multinationals, who according to the opposition, had rejected Indian tubers for being too small for making French fries.
As the motion against FDI and amendments to FEMA were defeated, Saugata Ray (TMC) shouted 'CBI has won', in an apparent reference to case filed against some key outside supporters of the UPA government.
Shashi Tharoor (Congress) also objected to Swaraj stating in the House that he wanted to participate in the discussion but was disallowed by senior leaders. "In the corridors of Parliament, the Leader of the Opposition struck a smiling conversation, which I replied with a smile," Tharoor, a member from Thiruvananthapuram, said requesting her to withdraw the statement. The Congress-led government in Kerala is opposed to the policy of FDI in multi-brand retail.