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Dec 05, 2012 at 08:03am IST

Lok Sabha to vote on FDI in retail today; will SP, BSP bail out the govt?

New Delhi: After a heated debate in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the government remains confident of winning the vote on FDI in both the Houses. With Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal leading the government in the FDI debate against BJP's Sushma Swaraj, the government expects to gain the numbers in a vote which will happen on Wednesday with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) likely to bail the government out.

Sushma Swaraj will respond to Kapil Sibal on Wednesday. Voting is expected to take place after 6 pm on a motion moved by the Opposition to disallow FDI in multi-brand retail and on FEMA. The Opposition will still insist on two separate votes, one on FDI in retail and one on FEMA.

ALSO SEE Oppn attacks govt, Mulayam says drop FDI, UPA accuses BJP of double speak

All eyes will be on the Uttar Pradesh parties, the SP and the BSP, that have kept the UPA guessing so far. BSP chief Mayawati had on Monday said, "The SP is waiting to see what decision we will take and they want to follow us."

When SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav spoke, he re-iterated his party line opposing the government move, but at the same time he was clear as to who was his natural ally.

ALSO SEE FDI in retail: The numbers in LS, RS

The BSP leaders speaking in the House also played up the secular-communal divide. "When we vote on Wednesday, we will have to decide if we can stand by communal forces," BSP leader Dara Singh Chauhan said.

The government does not have the problem of numbers in the Lok Sabha. But the real test will be in the Rajya Sabha where any one of the the two UP parties will have to vote with the government to defeat any motion against FDI in multi-brand retail.