BJP to demand special session to discuss ‘breach of promise’

The BJP will petition President Pranab Mukherjee demanding a special session of Parliament to discuss the government’s decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail trade

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:September 20, 2012 3:38 am

The BJP will petition President Pranab Mukherjee demanding a special session of Parliament to discuss the government’s decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail trade,BJP parliamentary party chairman L K Advani said on Wednesday.

“The government had categorically assured that it will not allow FDI in multi-brand retail trade until there is a consensus on this issue. But suddenly it has taken a decision. This is a breach of the promise made to Parliament,” Advani told The Indian Express. “In fact,this promise was made by the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. We will petition the President after the September 20 nationwide bandh. We will show his verbatim assurance as the then Finance Minister to the House and demand a special session of Parliament to discuss this breach of promise.”

Given the fact that BJP had stalled the recently concluded monsoon session of Parliament over the coal block allotment controversy,Advani said the party’s earlier decision to obstruct Parliament on the coal block controversy will not extend to this special session demanded by him.

“This special session is going to be for an immediate issue arising out of government’s sudden decision of allowing FDI in retail trade,” he said,responding to a query whether his demand goes against the BJP’s obstructionist strategy to press for the Prime Minister’s resignation on the coal block allotment issue.

With the entire opposition,and also parties supporting the UPA from outside like SP and BSP along with UPA partner Trinamool Congress,expressing their opposition to the FDI decision,the BJP senses an opportunity to pin down the government to demonstrate UPA’s numerical minority in the House.

For this purpose,BJP sources said,the party would press for a discussion on this issue under a rule that would entail voting.

Advani,however,sought to refrain from outlining the BJP’s strategy for the discussion in the special session. “A decision will be taken by parties after the session is convened,” Advani said,in response to a query on whether the BJP would press for a discussion on this issue under a rule that entails voting.

Government sources rejected suggestions of calling a special session of Parliament on this issue. But Advani said that it was for the President to call the special session and not the government.

Where they stand

‘Obstinate attitude will weaken cong’

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said his party will continue to support the UPA for now,but warned the government against being adamant on its decisions on diesel price hike,LPG cylinders and FDI . “We want wisdom should dawn …. This obstinate attitude will only weaken the Congress,” he said. Insiders said the final call on continuing support will be taken after rival BSP’s decision on October 10.

‘Govt has no right to continue’

THE CPM said on Wednesday that the Manmohan Singh government has “no right to continue in office” unless it rolls back the decisions on FDI in retail and hike in diesel price. CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said the government has no “mandate or right” to proceed with FDI in retail or other policy initiatives announced as “majority of the parties and MPs in Parliament” are against these.

‘For support,Give state Special status’

HINTING that the JD(U) has kept its options open for the next Lok Sabha election,Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said he will support an alliance that will promise Bihar special category status. At a rally in Bettiah to build momentum for special category status demand,Nitish also said the Congress has not been able to identify “the real power (JD-U)” and is unnecessarily running after a four-MP party (RJD)”.

Orissa Chief Minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday ruled out his party’s support to the UPA government at the Centre.

Tamil nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa declined to comment on the Trinamool withdrawing support to the UPA.

Bandh Today

West Bengal

ALTHOUGH she has announced her decision to pull out of UPA II,Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said she won’t allow a “forcible strike” to happen in West Bengal. Sources said she did not want to be seen to be joining the bandh called separately by the Left and the BJP.

Uttar pradesh

The ruling SP will support the bandh but the opposition BSP will not participate in it. State BSP president Ramachal Rajbhar said his party is against the UPA’s anti-people policies,but would not participate in the bandh because “we are busy making preparations for our October 9 rally’’.

Assam

The Assam government would enforce pay cut,break in service and disciplinary action against employees who do not report for work during the bandh on Thursday. This was announced in a notification issued by the government on Wednesday to ensure normal functioning in all government offices.

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