Stormy Winter Session in store as Left seeks vote on FDI in multi-brand retail

Stormy Winter Session in store as Left seeks vote on FDI in multi-brand retail

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New Delhi:  The Left today submitted a notice to move an adjournment motion under rule 184 in the Winter Session of Parliament for a vote on the Centre's decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment or FDI in multi-brand retail. If the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha allow the notice, a debate followed by a vote on FDI would take place in the Winter Session of Parliament, which begins on November 22.

Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, which walked out of the Congress-led UPA government in September, has already said that it would move a no-confidence motion against the government in the Winter Session.

The government was plunged into a minority with Ms Banerjee's exit and it now heavily depends on the big Uttar Pradesh parties - Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party - for its survival. Both parties provide external support to Manmohan Singh's government.

Though both Ms Mayawati and Mr Yadav have opposed the reforms ushered in by the UPA, they have remained non-committal on their support to the government. Mr Yadav has, however, hinted that he will not allow the government to fall so as to keep the 'communal forces' at bay.

Dr Singh last week met both Ms Mayawati and Mr Yadav over lunch and dinner respectively in what is being seen as a part of the PM's effort to firm up strategy and ensure a united front to face the Opposition in the Winter Session.

Kamal Nath, who recently took over as Parliamentary Affairs Minister and is known to have good relations with several leaders in the opposition, was present at the meetings.

Ms Banerjee and the Left have opposed the 21 proposals the Centre has cleared in the past two months, which includes allowing multi-brand retail chains like Walmart to enter India and raising the cap on foreign direct investment in the insurance sector from the 26 per cent allowed at present to 49 per cent.

All these proposals, however, need Parliament's approval to take effect. And passing these Bills in Parliament will not be an easy task for the government, especially in the Raya Sabha, where the UPA does not have the numbers.

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