New Delhi: Buoyed by government's victory in voting on FDI in retail in Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday said "this is a major step which will change" the face of the country.

"I think this is part of the change that is taking place, this is part of the larger reform project which is taking a long time for us to fulfill. This is a very major step," Khurshid told reporters outside Parliament House.      

"Our opposition may not be happy with this. Lok Sabha has endorsed the very far-reaching policy. I believe this will change the face of our country," the Minister said. FDI in multi-brand retail on Thursday got the approval of the Lok Sabha as the Opposition motion seeking immediate withdrawal of the decision was rejected convincingly as BSP and SP walked out.

218 voted in favour of the Opposition motion, while 253 voted against it in the House where 471 members participated in the voting. The total strength of the House is 545. "I would just simply say that our resolve, our determination and our faith in the political system of our country has been vindicated," Khurshid said.

He said the major reform step was pushed for the the "interest of economic opportunity for young people, economic opportunities for middle classes, economic opportunities for emerging classes as well as allow for expansion and growth and opportunity for those who remain outside the scope of opportunity."

The Minister termed as "pathetic" the opposition allegation that the government misused enforcement agencies like CBI to intimidate SP and BSP and win votes in the Lower House.


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