Parliament likely to vote on retail FDI next week

With full backing from its once reluctant ally, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the UPA government is now all set for a discussion followed by a vote in Parliament on the vexed issue of allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail trade in the country.

Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath, who met opposition leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj of the BJP for over an hour, merely said the government wants both the Houses to run.

The BJP and the Left continued to stick to their demand that a discussion on FDI in retail should be under Rule 184 that entails voting.

During the meeting, both Swaraj and Jaitley also made it clear to the minister that the debate should be held under Rule 184.

''Why is the government not agreeing to debate under Rule 184 now that it is sure of its numbers? Asked Swraj, adding ''Even if the government loses the vote, only FDI will go and not the government.''

Speaking to reporters, Kamal Nath merely said presiding officers of both the Houses would take any decision they want in the interest of running Parliament.