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Nov 20, 2012 at 11:27pm IST

Opposition sharpens knives on FDI, demand debate and voting

New Delhi: Just 48 hours before Winter Session of parliament, the UPA government is in an overdrive post its dinner diplomacy. Meeting chief whips of political parties, reaching out to the Opposition on FDI in retail. Its stand till now is that there is no past precedence for an executive decision like FDI to be challenged in Parliament. A stand that is finding few takers.

The BJP is hardening its stand further. BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "NDA will consult all political parties on bringing no-trust motion." Meanwhile AIADMK also said that they have not decided on the no-confidence motion.

The government is hoping that the Speaker would disallow a voting on FDI but its really the numbers it is banking on. As of now the UPA has 254 MPs in the Lok Sabha. The majority block including the Congress with 206, the DMK 18 and the NCP with nine MPs. The UPA has outside support with 50 MPS including the BSP's 21 and the SPs 22.

The NDA's lot comprises 152 MPS and the Trinamool Congress, Left block with 88 MPs including the BJD and the AIDMK are all sharpening their knives. The focus though is on Mamataa Banerjee who said "we have no problems approaching the Left".

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said, "Mamata is bringing a no-confidence but no other party has said they are supporting it." While most political parties are opposed to FDI in retail, they are keeping their options open where a no-confidence motion is concerned. And while the government feels it will sail through if a no-confidence motion is brought through, its really a defeat over FDI in retail that its worried abiout because that would mean its ramming down a decision that does not have the backing of Parliament.