Retail FDI row: Trial of strength in Parliament set for next week

Ramgopal Yadav

But in Rajya Sabha, in a discomforting news to the government, Samajwadi Party today said it will vote against FDI in the Upper House where UPA does not have majority on its own.

"We will vote against FDI in Rajya Sabha if the government brings it there," SP leader in the Upper House Ramgopal Yadav said.

SP has nine members in the 244-member House.

After a meeting of leaders of all parties chaired by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said that the government has agreed to a discussion on FDI under rule 168 that entails voting.

He said that the date and timing of the discussion will be decided later after consultations with leaders of all parties.

UPA and its allies have a strength of 94 members in the Upper House.

The ten nominated members may go ahead to vote with the government. BSP has 15 MPs and SP nine.

Among the seven independents, three-four may support the government.

BSP, which extends outside support to UPA, has 15 members and it has said that it will disclose its stand on the issue on the floor of the House.

While in Lok Sabha, the government appears to be comfortably placed in the numbers game with promise of support from SP and BSP and DMK's open backing, Trinamool Congress with 19 MPs has also been cold towards the Opposition demand for a vote on the issue.

UPA enjoys the support of about 265 MPs in Lok Sabha which has total strength of 545.

With the support of Samajwadi Party (22) and BSP (21), the backing for the ruling coalition goes a little over 300, which is a comfortable figure over the required mark of 273 Meanwhile, BJP accused the government of having "different yard sticks" for Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on the issue of FDI discussion. Why Congress is opposed to voting in Rajya Sabha? asked BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu.

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