FDI debate in RS: 'Lame-duck' UPA dependent on costly support, says Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley

Expressing disappointment with the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party's decision to abstain from voting on the issue of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail in the Lok Sabha, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, on Thursday said that the Congress-led UPA is a lame-duck government dependent on costly support.

"When you are 18 short of majority, then you cannot run the government as you please. You cannot touch the 272 mark in Lok Sabha – you will need support and help. And whenever you need help, you have to compromise and pay a price," said Jaitley, while taking potshots at the government over its win on FDI vote in the Lok Sabha.

"The country is worried that with regards to investigative agencies and the government's work practices, we have seen the compromises for the past four years. After yesterday''s vote, those worries have gone up. After that figure you are a lame duck government, and you are dependent on support which is costly," he added.

Taking on Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party for deviating from its stand on the FDI issue, Jaitley said: "Some people support you from the outside. They vote for you but are opposed to FDI."

Jaitley further said even the UPA ally, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), is opposed to FDI in retail.

"But even your own ally, the NCP, in Maharashtra, they don't want to implement it immediately. They want to discuss the matter in the alliance. As far as the DMK is concerned, they were part of the Bharat Bandh. Those who abstain, and by that support you, do not want this in their states," he added.

Jaitley also launched a frontal attack on Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal, who had made a point-by-point rebuttal of all the allegations levelled by BJP leader Sushma Swaraj during the debate on FDI in the Lok Sabha.

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