As might have been expected, the all-party meet convened by the Congress to end the logjam in Parliament over allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail failed to achieve a breakthrough this morning, with opposition parties unwilling to settle for less than a full reversal of the proposal.
The meeting was chaired by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who later informed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the developments. A statement from either Mukherjee or the prime minister on the issue is expected later today.
Reports say Parliament is unlikely to convene before 2 pm today; and even then it seems unlikely that the opposition will allow the houses to function. Leaders of the opposition are meeting to decide their future course of action.
Ahead of the meeting, the opposition parties reiterated their resolve to oppose retail FDI tooth and nail.
Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, speaking to the media before going for the meeting, said Parliament will only function if the government agrees to reverse its decision.
Satish Mishra of the Bahujan Samaj Party said that the opposition parties have pressed for an immediate rollback of the government's decision of allowing FDI in retail and will not let Parliament run till there is a rollback. He also said that the government has asked for more time to think on the issue.