Retail FDI: Executive decision can't be subject for debate, says govt

Amid Opposition demand for discussion in Lok Sabha on FDI in retail under a rule which entails voting, government today said an executive decision could not be a subject for debate under such a rule but asserted that it has the numbers to beat such a move.

"An executive decision cannot be a subject for debate under a rule that entails voting. It can be a subject matter of debate. But it doesn't have to be under Rule 184 (which entails voting). Parliament ultimately must be made to run according to the rule book," Law Minister Ashwani Kumar told reporters outside Parliament House.

Asked whether the Opposition wanted to see the government's defeat on the issue on the floor of the House, he said, "They are not going to succeed. We have the numbers with us."

Criticising the Opposition for disrupting the proceedings of the House, the Minister said, "We have seen in every section of Parliament something or the other is raked up and an attempt is made to make Parliament dysfunctional."

He asked the Opposition to cooperate with the government to make it functional.

Noting that certain policy issues should be seen as being above partisan politics, Kumar said the government will endeavour to ensure that a broad consensus is arrived at for its policies.

Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Satyavrat Chaturvedi also criticised the Opposition for disrupting the proceedings.

"When the government is ready for a discussion on any issue, why is the Opposition running away? The blame for disrupting the Parliament session will finally rest with the Opposition. The people of the nation are watching," Chaturvedi said.

Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, however, demanded a debate on the FDI issue.

On BSP chief Mayawati demanding sacking of the UP in Uttar Pradesh on the issue of law and order, he said, "What else can she do except saying so. She cannot ask for making her the Chief Minister again as the people of the state have voted her out."

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