New Delhi: Giving the government a big relief, Mayawati announced today she will vote with UPA-II on FDI in retail. The BSP chief asserted that she is convinced that government is doing the right thing and it has given the choice for states to implement it or not.
Mayawati said: "It is important to see in which sector foreign investment will take place. For any developing country, investment in all sectors is important. FDI should do value addition." Watch: BSP to vote in favour of FDI l UPA a lame duck govt: Jaitley l Will vote against FDI: Jethmalani l Confident of win in RS: PM
Now that Mayawati votes for the government, even a change of heart by Mulayam will not enable the BJP or Trinamool Congress to pull down the government in the absence of a break-up in the UPA.
The Math: After BSP’s 15 MPs’ support, the Rajya Sabha equation now is: Total 232, Winning Mark 117 - Govt 124, Opposition 108.
All eyes are now set on Samajwadi Party (9 MPs).
Highlights of debate & Thursday’s developments
• Mayawati reiterates claim in Rajya Sabha that BJP used CBI threat against her to force BSP into a coalition ahead of 2004 general elections
• BJP misused CBI more, put pressure on us to concede seats, asked for 60 Lok Sabha seats and told us to contest only on 20 seats: Mayawati
• Mayawati says Sushma Swaraj's speech a case of 'sour grapes', BJP uproar in Rajya Sabha.
• I will certainly vote against FDI.But to listen to a debate is also important and it is not a joke: Ram Jethmalani.
• Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley today in Rajya Sabha on the FDI debate said: “Mr Kamal Nath you are a man of principles. You opposed FDI on principle of Swadeshi, you now propose it on the principle of opening up.”
• UPA is a lame duck government after Wednesday's vote on FDI in retail in Lok Sabha, as it saw walkouts from BSP and SP: Arun Jaitley.
• FDI debate in Rajya Sabha: India will be a nation of sales boys and sales girls, says Arun Jaitley.
• As the Lok Sabha convened, Shafiqur Rahman Barq (BSP) waved black flag in the House and rued that those guilty of Babri Masjid demolition 20 years ago were still not brought to justice.
• JD (U) Rajya Sabha member Bashishtha Narayan Singh not to be present in House tomorrow due to his daughters marriage on 7th.
• Delhi: RJD vice-president Raghuvansh Prasad didn't vote in Lok Sabha as he was not ready to vote, Lalu Prasad Yadav wanted him to vote but he refused.
• I am very confident of Rajya Sabha as well, says PM Manmohan Singh to ABP News, on FDI voting in Rajya Sabha.
• Mumbai: NCP supports govt in Lok Sabha but not too sure about implementation of FDI in Maharashtra; says need to discuss pros and cons then decide.
• J Waghmare - Unwell, he is not in a position right now to go, decision will be taken tomorrow on voting.
• Janardhan Reddy - He is likely to come and vote
• Pyari Mohan Mohapatra - Likely to abstain
• Murli Deora and Sachin Tendulkar won't be present for voting
• BJP RS Member Sri Pratap Singh is in hospital but will come for voting.
The UPA on Wednesday passed the FDI test in the Lok Sabha on the back of walkouts by the Samajwadi Party as well as the BSP and road-tested its ability to muster a majority in the event of a no-confidence motion.
By late last night, celebrations had given way to hard-nosed calculations on how to tackle the tougher test in the Rajya Sabha, where a debate is expected today and a vote on Friday.
Top sources disclosed on Wednesday that Congress managers were working on Mayawati to vote for the government in the Rajya Sabha as Mulayam Singh Yadav appeared reluctant to go that far. Besides, his strength in the Upper House is only nine, not enough to change the numbers game.
A senior minister said last evening after winning the vote in the Lok Sabha: “We are not as comfortable in the Rajya Sabha but things are being sorted out. We have no apprehensions of a defeat. We will win comprehensively.”
Congress leaders, too, sounded confident. Sonia Gandhi stuck her neck out to say she was not worried about the Rajya Sabha.
The UPA, which has 90 MPs in the Rajya Sabha, enjoys the support of the RJD’s two and 10 nominated members. This means the UPA tally of 102 is 21 short of the majority mark of 123. But now with the BSP’s 15 vote in favour of the government, the tally jumps to 117 whereas the committed vote against FDI is 109.
The motion seeking the immediate withdrawal of FDI in multi-brand retail was defeated with 253 MPs supporting the government and 218 opposing it.
Some UPA members were absent but the government demonstrated that it could muster the required 273 MPs with the help of the BSP’s 21 in case a no-confidence motion is moved in the near future.
Mamata Banerjee termed the outcome a “shame”.
With additional information from The Telegraph, Calcutta