New Delhi: With the declaration that discussion on FDI in retail will be held in Parliament under rules entailing voting, BJP is hopeful of overturning the executive decision by defeating the government in the Rajya Sabha where UPA has a difficult arithmetic to bear.

Deputy Leader of BJP in the Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters today that parliamentary accountability demands that if the government does not get a majority in either of the two Houses during the FDI debate and voting, then it should scrap the executive decision on it.

He emphasised that in such a scenario, the government cannot go ahead and implement the FDI decision on the pretext that it is an executive decision and does not require approval of the Parliament.

The Presiding Officers in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have said the debate and voting will be held in the Houses under Rule 184 and Rule 168 respectively. With UPA having only 94 members in the Rajya Sabha, it will have to bank on BSP (which has 15 MPs), SP(9) and the nominated members.

BJP is confident that Left parties, NDA allies-JD(U), SAD and Shiv Sena, as well as AGP, TDP, AIADMK, INLD, TMC, BPF, JMM and a couple of independent members will vote against the FDI decision. If SP and BSP abstain, the government will find it difficult to have a majority in the Upper House.

BJP has got another handle in the FEMA (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2012 notification- which will have to be laid in both Houses and approved- before the FDI decision is implemented. BJP said categorically it will oppose the regulation when it is laid in Parliament.

"We will use all parliamentary instruments to get the FEMA regulation notification annulled," Prasad said. BJP also asked the government why it had not yet laid the notification in Parliament though RBI made amendments to FEMA in April 2012. The party said the government has been saying it is very important to implement FDI in multi-brand retail but has delayed laying of the notification for six months.

As per Section 48 of FEMA, every rule and regulation made under the Act shall be laid before each House of Parliament within 30 working days.

BJP pointed out that as per this rule, both Houses have to give their consent to the rules and regulations for them to be implemented. The party is hopeful it will get enough support in the Rajya Sabha to get this defeated. Prasad thanked the presiding officers of both the Houses for the decision to have the debate on FDI in retail under provisions which entail voting.

"We are grateful and appreciate the decision of the Presiding Officers.... As for the government, better late than never. They could have saved precious time by agreeing to this earlier," Prasad said. Enumerating the reasons why it was insisting on voting in Parliament after the FDI in retail debate, BJP said the "real and palpable" opposition to the decision will be shown through this.

Referring to SP, BSP and DMK without naming them, Prasad said those parties, which had earlier opposed the FDI decision and are now supporting the government, will be "exposed".

Asked about the "volte-face" done by DMK on FDI in retail issue, Prasad said the change in stand of M Karunanidhi is a "copybook case of metamorphosis". "The phoney debate of secularism has taken over the concern for small traders," he said. Karunanidhi had said he is going to support the government with bitterness just to keep the communal forces at bay.


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