Monday, June 24, 2024

FDI in multi-brand retail standoff cripples Parliament


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New Delhi: A hardening standoff over the Government inviting 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail in the country crippled Parliament for the third successive day on Tuesday, casting a shadow over the remainder of the Winter Session.

The Opposition was joined by UPA allies Trinamool Congress and DMK and BSP and SP in demanding a rollback of the Cabinet decision, shortly after an all-party meeting of the Government with floor leaders failed to resolve the impasse over the issue.

The House of the People and the Council of States were adjourned for the first time till noon before proceedings were called off for the day, washing out business for the sixth consecutive day of the Winter Session of Parliament since it commenced on November 22.

Amid noisy scenes, the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day today within four minutes after it re-assembled at 1200 hours following an earlier adjournment.

AIADMK member M Thambi Durai who was in the Chair was forced to adjourn the House as the entire Opposition and several allies of the UPA were up on their feet demanding scrapping of the 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail trade.

BJP Members displayed placards urging rollback of the move to invite FDI in multi-brand retail.

A large number of Andhra Pradesh MPs carried placards asking the Government to immediately bring the Telangana bill in the House.

Thambi Durai requested the Members to go back to their respective seats. When they did not listen to him, the Presiding officer was forced to adjourn the House till Tuesday.

Earlier in a repeat of Monday, the Lok Sabha was adjourned minutes into the Question Hour with the entire Opposition along with UPA allies Trinamool Congress and DMK up in arms to protest Government’s proposal for FDI in multi-brand retail among other issues. More UNI Team RP 1419

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Speaker Meira Kumar tried in vain to calm agitated Members and run the show but members of the Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress and Left Parties stormed to the well of the House to register their protest, even as BJP members stood on their seats in support and the treasury bench watched in silence.

While the BJP, SP, BSP, CPI, CPI-M, JD-U protested against the Government’s move to invite 51 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail trade, MPs from Kerala and Tamil Nadu raised their voice to highlight the Mullaperiyar Dam issue.

The flag-bearer of the Telangana issue was Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) chief T Chandrashekhar Rao with liberal support from several MPs of the region. They waved placards in support of their demand for a separate state to be carved out from Andhra Pradesh.

Just after the House met for the day, the Speaker condoled the death of 15 persons in a road accident in Maharashtra. Members also stood up in silence for a while to express their sorrow.

Among those present in the House were Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, BJP veteran L K Advani, JD-U leader Sharad Yadav, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, CPI-M leader Basudeb Acharia and DMK’s T R Baalu.

Opposition MPs forced an adjournment of the Rajya Sabha with some allies of the UPA joining the protest against the Government allowing FDI in multi-brand retail in the country.

The House did not witness any proceedings during the Question Hour. (UNI)


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