Congress core group discusses parliament stalemate over FDI

New Delhi, Dec 2: The Congress core group met here Friday in the backdrop of ally Trinamool Congress saying it did not support Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail and the prolonged stalemate in parliament over the decision of the government.

The core group meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, took stock of the efforts by the government to find a way to resolve the parliament impasse.

Parliament was adjourned for the ninth successive day following uproar on FDI in retail and some other issues.

Congress sources said the stance of Trinamool Congress, a constituent of the United Progressive Alliance, was causing some concern in the party over floor management in case of vote in parliament on the issue.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has told the Congress leadership that supporting it on the issue of foreign equity in retail was a ‘problem’ for her party.

The Congress sources said that since Trinamool Congress has ministers in the union council, it would be politically untenable for the party to vote against the government in case of a ballot or even abstain. They said cabinet had a joint responsibility over its decisions. DMK has also expressed reservations over the government move for FDI in retail. The government also has to factor in opposition from the Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party, who support it from outside.

The opposition has called for a rollback of government decision on FDI and has been giving notice for an adjournment motion. The government has ruled out a rollback.

Congress leaders hope that a solution to the impasse will be found by the time the two houses meet against Wednesday after a four day break.