On debate-eve, Maya hints at support to govt

FP

BSP chief Mayawati Monday hinted that her party would bail out the Congress-led UPA in Parliament during the vote on allowing FDI in multi-brand retail by invoking the threat of "communalism" from the BJP and its partners.

The veiled offer of support from the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister came as the Congress scrambled to get its own numbers in the Lok Sabha in place before the house begins discussing Tuesday a motion moved by the BJP and the CPI(M) opposing the controversial FDI decision.

Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, which blamed the FDI decision among others to quit the UPA, also sought to distance itself from the BJP by moving a separate motion that seeks modification of the FEMA notification needed to allow FDI in multi-brand retail.

"As a party opposed to FDI, we had to move this modification and any party which claims to be opposed to FDI in retail but has not moved the modification is only pretending to oppose the move in totality," TMC member Saugata Roy, who moved the motion, told The Indian Express.

The TMC decision is seen as an attempt by the party to maintain distance from the Left as well as the BJP for now.

In what is being seen as a defensive move, the government has got the motion seeking modification of the FEMA notification clubbed with the discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail to prevent the opposition from seeking a separate vote on it at a later date.

But the posturing by the BJP, Left-parties and the TMC is less likely to worry the ruling establishment as it drew comfort from Mayawati's discovery of "one plus-point" and another unconnected political factor to base her mood in favour of the government.

"The only plus-point is that if a state does not want to implement the FDI policy, then it will not be forcefully imposed. Our party has taken serious note of this," Mayawati told a press conference even as she pointed at loopholes in the government's move on FDI in multi-brand retail.

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