Cong steers clear of SP's mixed signals on voting on FDI in retail



New Delhi: Congress on Thursday steered clear of questions on Samajwadi Party's mixed signals on the issue of voting on FDI in retail in Parliament.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath chose to ignore questions from reporters on the issue while at the AICC briefing, party spokesman Rashid Alvi said Congres hopes that both in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha the "majority" will support the stand taken by Congress on FDI.

"SP is supporting the government from outside. You ask this question to Samajwadi Party. They will answer it," he said when asked whether SP was playing a double game by taking conflicting stands on the issue.

A senior party leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, indicated Congress could reiterate its support to the proposal to provide quota in promotion in government jobs to keep BSP, which is keen for the passage of a bill in this regard, happy

The leader indicated the effort will be to bring the bill for passage during the on-going winter session.

"We and BSP both support the bill," the leader said adding even SP understands that the bill will sail through and its opposition aims at only sending a message to its voters.

Congress is hopeful BSP will vote for the government on FDI in both the Houses if there is some forward movement on quota in promotion bill.

Alvi expressed satisfaction over Lok Sabha functioning today after repeated disruptions for the last four days since the winter session began on November 22.

In a veiled attack on BJP and Left parties, he said Parliament should run according to rules and while political parties can make suggestions and demands for discussion under certain rules, the decision has to come from the Chair.

"It is unfortunate that law-makers break the law in Parliament which is a seat to enact laws. We wanted the debate should take place. Under which rule it should take place is a decision that should be left to the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairman. Their decision has to be accepted by all," Alvi said.

He also rejected as "absolutely baseless" BJP's criticism that the government was not interested in running Parliament and that it wasted four days of business adding "we were ready to accept from very beginning whatever rule decided by the Speaker for a discussion".

PTI