Parliament unlikely to transact any business today news
06 December 2011

The logjam in Parliament may not end even today, despite the government saying it would not implement the cabinet decision to allow foreign investment in multi-brand retail.

While West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress has indicated it is satisfied with the government decision to hold back notification of the decision on FDI in retail, opposition parties continue to demand a full and unequivocal reversal of the policy.

At meetings with the government on Monday, the opposition, and particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party, had insisted it wanted a ''rollback, not a holdback''. There were indications that it might allow Parliament to function nonetheless; but now what happens today is anybody's guess.

Both the BJP and the Communist Party of India have demanded an all-party meet before the Parliament sitting begins. Meanwhile, BJP leaders met in New Delhi this morning to discuss the FDI issue, with party president Nitin Gadkari in the chair.

Last week, in a public speech, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh defended the measure and indicated it could not be reversed. He, like Mukherjee and commerce minister Anand Sharma, stressed that individual states can choose to ignore the union government's policy.

Describing the reforms as "an enabling framework," Sharma told NDTV last week that it was "in deference" to Banerjee that the states were given the right to adopt or reject the new rules on FDI in retail.

Lawmakers have not transacted any official business since the beginning of the winter session of Parliament on 22 November, with both houses being routinely adjourned on account of a noisily belligerent opposition. The houses convene again on Wednesday after a four-day holiday.

Mukherjee, the well-known troubleshooter for the Congress, on Monday called Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Sushma Swaraj and L K Advani to inform them of the 'holdback' decision.

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Parliament unlikely to transact any business today