NEW DELHI: In a bid to deflate the opposition’s pressure over the vexed issue of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail during coming Winter Session of Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has invited the alliance partners of UPA over dinner on Friday. This is being viewed as his bid to formalize a joint strategy to aptly handle the opposition’s speculated onslaught in the coming Parliament session. He is also likely to discuss the ways to make sure the smooth functioning of the Winter Session.
The one-month-long Winter Session will commence next week and the Prime Minister is leaving no stone un-turned in order to ward off the possibility of disruption of the session especially amid speculation of a proposal likely to be moved by the Trinamool Congress over the FDI issue. This is the purported reason behind the Prime Minister reaching out to the political parties like Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) recently through dinner diplomacy. Notably, the SP and BSP are extending outside support to the Congress-led UPA government.

SP is openly opposing the government’s decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail and had earlier participated in the opposition sponsored nation-wide strike over the issue. Mayawati had also expressed her opposition to the Centre’s decision though she is yet to make her party’s stand clear if any proposal over the issue is moved against the government.

Left front too has announced that they will oppose FDI and will support any proposal moved against the government. It is not only opposition parties, but the key UPA ally DMK too has not opened his cards as the party patriarch M Karunanidhi is maintaining suspense over the party’s stand.


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