New Delhi: Already stung by the nation-wide cheer government has received for the swift hanging of Ajmal Kasab, the BJP on Thursday cut yet another sorry figure in Parliament. In the past weeks and months the party has relentlessly called for the ouster of the Manmohan Singh government on all issues under the sun – from 2G, petrol price hike, LPG to FDI in retail. But on Thursday, the opening day of the Winter Session of Parliament, when BJP had a chance to put the government on the mat, election fear gripped the party and it backed off.
The Trinamool Congress moved no-confidence motion against the government and needed at least 50 members to back it to be accepted. TMC had 19 of its own and Biju Janata Dal joined hands with its three members. If BJP had lent its support, the motion would have been accepted.
Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj urged Speaker Meira Kumar to allow her party's notice for a debate on the FDI in retail under Rule 184, which entails voting. CPI-M members raised slogans making a similar demand.
“The Parliament must function. My request to SP, BSP to debate under the rule. It is important for us to discuss,” said Sharad Yadav, JD(U) President.
The BJP said that the TMC should have agreed for discussion under 184 first and later would have supported TMC on no-trust motion.
“I don’t wish to make any comment on Sharad Yadavji, he is a very senior
leader. Except to reiterate that NDA would like to have discussion and
disproval on the FDI in retail until voting provisions,” said Ravi
Shankar Prasad, senior Congress leader.
Party president Nitin Gadkiri under serious fire for charges of corruption, in-fighting among top leaders to the fore and Narendra Modi’s designs unknown, BJP seems to have realised the difficulty of translating rhetoric into action and let the Mamata-backed motion fall in Lok Sabha.
"The Parliament has to function to discuss the issue. According to the frame work the state government has the right to implement or not FDI in retail," said Manish Tewari , Information and Broadcasting Minister.
Addressing reporters outside parliament ahead of the beginning of the winter session, PM Manmohan Singh appealed for smooth functioning of parliament and said: "We all have an obligation, both in opposition as well as in the government, to work together to enable our parliamentary democracy, of which we are genuinely proud, to grapple with the formidable challenges faced by our country."
(With IANS inputs)