Agencies, New Delhi
After bailing out UPA on the FDI in multi-brand retail issue in Lok Sabha yesterday by proxy, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) declared its open support to the government in the Rajya Sabha but wanted precautions to ensure that the country’s economy and domestic interests were not marred.
‘’…we have decided that we will vote in favour of the government,’’ BSP leader Mayawati said while participating in the debate on the issue of FDI in retail. Ms Mayawati also chose the occasion to attack the BJP for linking BSP’s decision to the CBI cases against her. She was referring to Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj’s statement yesterday linking the BSP’s decision to the CBI cases against the Party’s leader.
The BSP chief created a ruckus when she narrated the short story with moral ‘grapes are sour’ in the context of the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha. BJP members were on their feet strongly objecting to the remarks and urging the Chairman to expunge theremarks for being ‘’unpraliamentary.’’ However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath rose and said the phrase had been often used in many debates in the past in both Houses.
The Chairman disallowed under a 2005 ruling any reference to a member of the other House.
Most of the speech by Ms Mayawati criticised the BJP and blamed the Party for misusing CBI against her.
She said the BJP wantedto have an alliance with her on the national level in 2004 election which she had refused.
As a result CBI cases were initiated against her.
Ms Mayawati said even the Supreme Court had ruled in her favour when she had approached the apex court against CBI.
Her speech was frequently interrupted by BJP members with noisy protests who insisted that Ms Mayawati was supposed to speak on the issue of FDI in retail, but she was speaking on a different issue.
Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the House for ten mimnutes after both BJP and BSP members protested and counter-protested.
As the House re-assembled after ten minutes, Ms Mayawati again raised political issues.
She referred to FDI in retail only at the fag end of her speech and opposed the government’s move.
She said there was apprehension that it would damage the economy.
‘’For any developmnent process, investment is needed. But FDI should not affect domestic economy…it should mean value addition,’’ she said and expressed apprenhension that small traders would suffer.
She, however, said that if the Opposition won the vote in Rajya Sabha, it would mean that the House would witness political games again.
This would mean that other important Bills which are pending discussion and finalisation, would get delayed.
She also said there was a provision that that FDI would be subject to state governments’ acceptance.
‘’Keeping everything in mind, we have decided that we will vote in favour of the government,’’ Ms Mayawati said amid thumping of desks by the UPA members.