PM calls all-party meet on FDI in retail

The Centre on Monday convened an all-party meeting tomorrow to discuss the issue of foreign direct investment in retail sector.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: With a united Opposition upping its ante against the Congress-led UPA government for its decision to allow 51 percent foreign direct investment in retail sector, the Centre on Monday convened an all-party meeting tomorrow to discuss the issue.

The meeting has been called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a bid to end the deadlock in Parliament.

The PM today also briefed UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi over the current political logjam over FDI in retail.

In a separate development, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal held confabulations with Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, BJP veteran LK Advani and Janta Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav to build consensus over the issue.

The announcement to hold an all-party meet was made shortly after Parliamentary proceedings in both Houses of Parliament were disrupted by the Opposition members demanding an immediate roll back on the government’s decision to open up the retail sector to foreign players.

Stepping up pressure on the government, Opposition MPs demanded a full-fledged debate and slammed it for not discussing the issue with major political parties before taking such a drastic decision.

Amid continued ruckus and commotion, both Houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day.

BJP member Murli Manohar Joshi, who had given an adjournment notice to discuss government`s policy on FDI, insisted that the issue be taken up immediately.

He was supported by Sharad Yadav and other NDA members. BJP members also displayed a banner demanding cancellation of the government decision on FDI.

Left parties were also demanding a discussion on the same issue and some of their members walked up to the Well.

TRS members too walked to the Well and raised their demand for a separate state of Telangana. They were holding placards to press for their demand. Congress members from the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh also walked up to the Well to make the same demand.

In the Rajya Sabha, BSP, JD-U, AIADMK and SP members raised slogans against the government`s FDI policy soon after Chairman Hamid Ansari took his seat.

"FDI vapas lo (withdraw FDI)," they chanted, as BJP members joined them.

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