Govt and Oppn may have a deal: debate with voting only in LS

FP

"From day one I have said we have the numbers," he said when asked if the government became ready for a vote only after key ally DMK came on board. Nath, who met Rajya Sabha chairperson Hamid Ansari on Tuesday, also met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar Wednesday morning. Nath maintained that the all-party meeting held on Monday showed that a larger number of parties favoured a discussion without voting and that they wanted Parliament to "function normally".

Swaraj told reporters that the government should not shy away from a vote as it would not fall even in the event of a defeat. "The government will not fall. Only FDI (decision) will have to go. If a majority of the members are against the decision, then the government should abide by it," the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha said. Besides the BJP, the Left parties, BJD, AIADMK and TDP have demanded a discussion on FDI followed by voting.

As far as numbers go, the UPA may not face any problems in the Lok Sabha given that it has the backing of 265 MPs from within and outside support of the Samajwadi Party (22 MPs) and BSP (21 MPs), that takes it comfortably above the half way mark of 273. However, the Rajya Sabha can be trickier as the UPA will have to get each of its 94 MPs as well as the 10 nominated and seven Independents, besides SP and BSP members, to vote for the government to avoid any last-minute embarrassment.

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