'Parl stalemate to continue till govt debates FDI'

Blaming the Prime Minister and Congress for the present stalemate in Parliament, senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu has said unless BJP's demand for a debate and voting on FDI in retail are conceded, the protest will go on.

"They had given a solemn assurance to Parliament on December 7, 2011 that they are suspending the decision to allow FDI in retail till a consensus is reached," Naidu said.

But despite the assurances in both Houses of Parliament, government later went ahead unilaterally and notified the decision on FDI in retail trade, Naidu alleged.

"We are not making it a prestige issue. We are keen that Parliament functions to take up people's issues," he said.

Naidu said BJP wanted the government to explain and convince on two issues - "betrayal" of Parliament and volte-face on the issue of FDI in retail trade.

Till such time the stalemate will continue and the Congress will be solely responsible for it, Naidu asserted.

Naidu also pointed out that Congress had opposed FDI in retail during the NDA regime.

"They raised questions in Rajya Sabha. They wrote letters to ministers against it. They even went to the extent of calling the move as 'anti-national'."

"How FDI in retail trade was anti-national then and pro-country now ? If it was a threat to our retail traders then, how will it protect their interests now ?" he asked.

"We, as an opposition party, have a responsibility to protect the interests of the people of the country," he said.

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