UPA govt wins retail FDI vote in Rajya Sabha as SP walks out


Sharma also took strong objection to Jaitley's remarks yesterday challenging Union Minister Kapil Sibal to get such a super store in his Parliamentary seat Chandni Chowk and see the result in next Lok Sabha election and asked Jaitley to contest against Sibal from there in the next election.

V Maitreyan, who had initiated the debate, said that even if the government is able to defeat the motion in Rajya Sabha "I give a solemn assurance to this House that after the next election, the next government will reverse the decision of the UPA."

He also said that even Government wins in this House it will be "Anand Sharma loses, Kamalnath wins". Because, if the government wins it is going to be the victory of management and not the policy because the majority of speakers in the House have opposed the policy.

His remark that he rises "to perform the last rites of UPA's policy of FDI in multi-brand retail" drew angry protests from Congress members.

Sharma earlier rejected the Opposition charge that the government did not consult political parties on the issue.

"I met 14 Chief Ministers and held discussions with them. I went to Punjab and met Akali leader and Chief Minister Parkas Singh Badal. I also met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress chief. I met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. I also wrote to all Chief Ministers and 19 of them responded."

Sharma claimed that discussions were also held between BJP President Nitin Gadkari and Finance Minister over lunch before taking the decision and rubbished the opposition charge that no consultation with stakeholders was held on FDI in retail.

"I had sent my Commerce Secretary thrice to Leader of the Opposition in both Houses - Sushma Swaraj and Jaitley. I have kept the Leaders of Opposition relentlessly informed of what we were doing," Sharma said.

... contd.

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