Retail FDI vote in Rajya Sabha: Mayawati's BSP to vote for govt
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NCP leader Y P Trivedi, whose party is a constituent of UPA and a partner in the Maharashtra government, disapproved of efforts to create a scare over FDI but said its implementation in the state would be decided by Congress-NCP Coordination Committee after assessing its likely impact.
Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, who was the first to speak on the issue on government's behalf, said UPA has taken a "conscious decision" on FDI in multi-brand retail and "at this stage of economic development and growth permitting FDI is a national imperative".
Kumar said the move will be able to enlist a significant amount of investment in backyard infrastructure which is required to create warehouses and cold chains so that the produce of farmers do not go waste.
Initiating the debate, AIADMK member V Maitreyan demanded withdrawal of the decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail and said it will be reversed if his party has a role in the next Central government.
Maitreyan and Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley earlier attacked BSP as also SP, DMK and NCP for helping the government in voting despite reservations to the policy.
BSP was the main target of Jaitley who said, "You know that this policy is harmful to the country. If you are willing to proclaim, you should be willing to strike."
The Leader of the Opposition raised questions on continuation of the UPA government, saying it has failed to touch the figure of 272 and has fallen short of 18 of a majority in the Lower House during voting on FDI.
"After this figure, you are a lame duck government" and questioned how much price the nation would have to pay for the decision of a "minority" government. Mayawati reacted sharply to the remarks that her party was helping the government under CBI pressure saying the main Opposition party is levelling such allegations after it found out that "grapes were sour" as its game plan did not succeed.