Business Standard

Stormy start to Winter Session, no-trust move fails

Both Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day following uproar over FDI in retail

The of today got off on a stormy note with the first day getting washed out over even as an effort by Trinamool Congress to bring the flopped due to lack of requisite numbers.

On a day when the was adjourned twice before being adjourned for the day at 2 PM, the BJP pressed for a discussion on the FDI in retail issue under Rule 184, which entails voting.

Left has already given notice for discussion under the same rule. Samajwadi Party has also given notice for adjournment motion on FDI, which Speaker Meira Kumar said was under her consideration.

As soon as the two Houses met for the day, there was uproar in the over issues like FDI and reservation to SCs/STs in promotions.

In the Lok Sabha, an attempt by former UPA ally Trinamool Congress to bring a no-confidence motion against the government over FDI in retail failed, with the Speaker disallowing it as it could not muster the required support of 54 members.

The motion, first in the current Lok Sabha, was moved by Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sudip Bandopadhyay and was supported by BJD.

However, it lacked the requisite numbers as only TMC's 18 members and BJD's three supported.

The motion said, "This House expresses want of confidence in the Council of Ministers over its decision to allow 51% FDI in multi-brand retail as it is going to harm millions of small businesses."

The Speaker asked all those supporting the motion to stand up. Amidst chants of "shame shame" from Congress benches, members stood up and there was a verbal clash too.

On seeing the lack of adequate support, Kumar said, "The motion does not have the support of the House".

Before the House assembled, Trinamool MPs held dharna outside Parliament House.

Pressing for a discussion on FDI in retail under a rule that entails voting, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said the government has shown contempt for the assurances given by then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is now the President of India.

Swaraj said a vote on the issue would show that people of the country were against the move which would affect small traders.

She accused the government of committing "gross insult" of Parliament by not fulfilling its assurance of taking the House into confidence on the issue.

The day saw two adjournments of the Lok Sabha while the Rajya Sabha called it a day after one adjournment.

Agitated members of SP, BSP and Trinamool Congress stormed the well in the Lower House and BSP and Trinamool in the Upper House.

Members of Mamata Banerjee's party, which was part of the Congress-led UPA till two months back, also raised anti-government slogans and chanted "corrupt government go" and "withdraw decision on FDI".

Left members staged protests in the aisles on the FDI issue.

Earlier, the Speaker said she has got a notice of adjournment motion on the FDI issue from SP member Shailendra Kumar and the same was under her consideration.

While the BSP members repeatedly stormed the well demanding dismissal of the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh, the Speaker disallowed a notice for an adjournment motion of the BSP on the issue of law and order situation in the state.

In the Rajya Sabha, Trinamool Congress and AIADMK raised the issue of FDI in retail when the House met at noon after the first adjournment. BSP members rushed to the well raising slogans and created uproar over the issue of reservation to SCs/STs in promotions.

With appeals by Deputy Chairman P J Kurien going unheeded, BSP members kept raising slogans forcing him to adjourn the House for the day.

As Mayawati stood up, her BSP colleagues led by Brajesh Pathak raised slogans demanding a bill for reservation to SCs/STs in promotions.

At least six Trinamool Congress members also entered the well raising the issue of FDI in retail but lodged their protest silently.

AIADMK members also raised the FDI issue from their seats showing pictures of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama's togetherness on the issue. The picture showed a "Big Brother shop" owned by Obama, with Singh as its employee.

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