Logjam on FDI: govt holds all-party meet
In a bid to end the deadlock in Parliament over the FDI in retail issue, government on Monday held an all-party meeting to find a way out amid Opposition demand for a discussion on it under the rules which entail voting.
With the Opposition disrupting Parliament for the third consecutive day and earlier efforts by the government not succeeding, the all-party meeting was held to end the impasse. The government has maintained that it is ready to discuss the FDI in retail issue but does not want it to be put to vote.
The meeting, held in Parliament House, was chaired by Leader of the Lok Sabha Sushilkumar Shinde and attended by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Sources said the government has reached out to its outside supporters SP and BSP to muster the required numbers.
SP Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav held a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before the all-party meeting where the FDI issue is understood to have come up for discussion.
Union Ministers have also been in touch with BSP leadership on the issue. BSP is pressing for passage of the reservation in promotion for SC/ST bill in Rajya Sabha, the sources said.
Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had met UPA ally DMK's Chief M Karunanidhi yesterday in Chennai to discuss the FDI issue. DMK has opposed the decision.
Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley, NDA Working Chairperson L K Advani, JD(U) Chief Sharad Yadav, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, Reoti Raman Singh and Naresh Agrawal (both SP), T R Baalu (DMK), BSP leader Mayawati, her party colleague Satish Chandra Mishra, Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC) and Arjun Charan Sethi (BJD) were among those present.
Leaders of other parties, including from TDP, RJD, NC, RLD, SAD were also present.