All set for stormy session of Parliament from today
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The winter session of Parliament is set to begin on Thursday even as a deadlock over the issue of FDI in retail, especially multi-brand retail, is yet to be resolved.
The NDA, the Left and other parties have joined hands to make the government agree to a discussion under Rule 184 in the Lok Sabha at the beginning of the session. The Rule warrants a voting.
The government, on the other hand, wants the issue debated under Rule 193, which simply allows the members to talk out a motion. This being the likely scenario, a confrontation between the two sides is likely.
An adamant Opposition is unlikely to allow the transaction of business unless its demand is accepted.
"We want the House to run.... We wish to cooperate in running the House.... There are numerous issues waiting to be discussed.... But our precondition is that the issue on which an assurance was given to the House in December last year be taken up first under a rule that entails voting," Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said.
Speaking to the media after the customary session-eve meeting of floor leaders with Speaker Meira Kumar, Swaraj recalled that Pranab Mukherjee, the then finance minister and the Leader of the House, had given an assurance to the Lok Sabha (on December 7, 2011) that a decision on the introduction of FDI in retail would be kept in abeyance till all stakeholders had been consulted. "However, that assurance was completely violated by the government," she said, insisting that "it is essential for political parties to express their views on FDI in retail in the House and that is possible only through voting".
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath showed no sign of the government being receptive to the Opposition demand, but was careful enough to avoid getting belligerent. All that he said was that "this is not what the government wants (a motion which entails voting)".