New Delhi, Nov 29: Asserting that his political outfit would stick to its demand for a debate with voting on FDI in the Rajya Sabha as well, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said that the Congress-led UPA Government does not want the Parliament to function smoothly and is shying away from voting.
Prasad said Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley have repeatedly said that there should be a discussion under voting clause in both the houses.
“The government gives assurance. We have demanded in the Rajya Sabha that there should be a discussion under voting clause in both the houses. It gets published in the newspapers that the government is ready, but there is no response from the government’s side,” said Prasad.
“The government does not want to run the Parliament. The government is shying away from discussion. We have repeatedly said that there should be a discussion under voting clause and we are ready to run the Parliament. We are ready for discussion on all the bills, on issues of corruption. Around five crore people will be left unemployed because of FDI, which is a cause for concern; but the government is shying away from voting. This is extremely unfortunate,” he added.
Prasad said the BJP wants the Parliament to function, but it wants to put forward the concerns of the people through the medium of voting.
Prasad, who is also the chief spokesperson of the BJP, said it is surprising that an announcement with regard to discussion under voting on FDI has not been made in the Rajya Sabha.
“It is all the more surprising as to why such an announcement is not being made in the Rajya Sabha. Both the houses are independent houses, both the houses have got independent legal provisions for discussion of a motion under voting clause. If it is not being met, then it seriously reflects as to how the government is running away from a debate,” said Prasad, when asked whether the government was shying away from discussion under voting in the Rajya Sabha for it does not have the numbers.
The government will have to rely on Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP) and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to win a vote in the Rajya Sabha. The two outfits are not part of the ruling coalition, but provide external support.
The government needs the support of Samajwadi Party’s 9 and Bahujan Samaj Party ‘s 15 MPs to win a vote in the Rajya Sabha.
The Rajya Sabha has an effective strength of 244, even the abstention of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party will bring the halfway mark down to 110, leaving the UPA Government well short at 95 MPs.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar earlier today agreed to the opposition’s demand for a debate on FDI followed by a vote under rule 184.
Meira Kumar, who announced that there would be a discussion and vote on FDI, said she hoped that the session would function smoothly
The date and time of the debate and vote are yet to be discussed. (ANI)