New Delhi: Trinamool Congress supreme and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's plans for a no-confidence motion against the UPA government on FDI and other issues appeared to be running out of steam with clear indications from opposition JD(U) that it is not inclined to the idea. NDA convener and Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav on Tuesday insisted on "Opposition unity", saying what is important for him is a consensus among the Opposition parties and not the Rule under which a discussion on FDI issue should take place in Lok Sabha.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath met Yadav at his residence in New Delhi on Tuesday and held consultations for over an hour. The consultations came ahead of NDA's crucial meeting to decide the strategy in Parliament at a time when Trinamool Congress has announced that it planned to move a no-confidence motion against the government on the first day of the Winter Session beginning Thursday.
Addressing a press conference later, Yadav said that he is in favour of all Opposition parties showing a unity of purpose as was witnessed during the two previous Bharat bandhs against fuel hike and that he had been meeting them for this. "They should show their strength and support on the floor of the House under appropriate rule for discussion. I urged them that instead of each party evolving a different strategy for raising the FDI issue in Parliament, it would be in the interest of the Opposition parties to make the strategy jointly so that the debate is fruitful and the strength is shown to the government," Yadav said.
Asked specifically whether he is in favour of Banerjee bringing a no-confidence motion on the issue or a discussion under a rule that entails voting, Yadav said, "What matters to me is a debate with consensus among the Opposition parties and not any rule under which it takes place."
Asked about his meeting with the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Yadav said, "Kamal Nath had come to meet me. We discussed how to run the House. I told him that there should be debate on all issues."
Yadav's party has given a notice for a discussion on FDI both under Rule 184, which entails voting, and also under Rule 193, which does not have the voting provision. "We will take a decision according to the situation," Yadav said, adding, "Parliament will run fully this session. There is no question of a washout. It is through debates in Parliament that public opinions are formed."
JD(U) has given eight more notices under Rule 193 on issues like price rise, coal block allocation and food security. A party leader, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that any motion like no-confidence or a discussion under a rule that entails voting could benefit the Congress-led government as parties like DMK and Samajwadi Party, which are backing the government, may finally back out if the opposition to FDI in retail goes that far.