New Delhi: Claiming the UPA of being united over the FDI in retail issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday said that the government is not averse to discussion on FDI under any rule and the Lok Sabha Speaker will take the final call on the matter.
While addressing the mediapersons soon after the crucial UPA coordination committee meeting, the minister said, “We are not concerned about vote. We have the numbers.”
“It clearly appears from the all-party meet that majority favoured debate under any rule; I will apprise Lok Sabha Speaker about the issue, let her decide”, Nath said.
"Yes, we are confident of numbers," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters after an hour-long meeting with leaders of UPA.
Meanwhile, major relief came from the UPA ally DMK, after the party chief M Karunanidhi announced his support to the government in Parliament when the discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail sector takes place.
Among those present in the meeting were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and political secretary to Congress president Ahmed Patel.
An all-party meeting on Monday failed to break the logjam with opposition MPs adamant on the demand for a debate with voting, rejecting the government's appeal to reconsider their views.
The UPA government however seemed at a stronger position after the crucial meet with its supporters, as well as erstwhile ally Trinamool Congress, saying they were not averse to the Lok Sabha speaker deciding on the debate rules. However, the BJP insisted that it wanted a debate under voting rules.
SP and BSP, both opposed to FDI in retail, however, left the decision on voting on a motion to the presiding officers of the two Houses of Parliament.
TMC maintained that it should be left to the Speaker to decide on whether there should be voting on the issue. It taunted the rest of the Opposition saying the government would not allow a voting and that was why it moved a no-confidence motion last week.
As the Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj declared that there will be no compromise on the demand for voting on a motion under rule 184, Government said it was ready for a vote and not not averse to it but felt it would be a wrong precedent to vote on an executive decision.
NDA, Left for discussion under Rule 184
Opposition parties, including NDA, AIADMK, BJD, Left parties, TDP and JD(S) has insisted on a discussion under rules entailing voting making it clear that trouble will continue in the Parliament which failed to transact any business for the third straight day today over the issue.