Even as an attempt by former UPA ally Trinamool Congress to pull down government by enforcing a no-confidence motion failed, the month-long winter session of parliament on Thursday began on a stormy note.
The government which is refusing to yield to the opposition demand for a voting after the debate on the 51% FDI in the multi-brand retail has now convened a meeting all-political parties on Monday to discuss the issue.
The TMC could muster support of just 21 members as against 54 (10% of house strength) to support its no-confidence motion. Only three MPs of Biju Janata Dal supported Mamata Banerjee’s motion.
While the CPI (M) said there was no question of their supporting the TMC’s motion as it would have derailed discussion on FDI, the BJP said, the West Bengal chief minister had not bothered to consult its leadership before bringing such an important motion in the House. Banerjee, in a statement from Kolkata said though her motion was rejected by the parliament for want of numbers, the people have not rejected the ‘No Trust’ against the UPA government and the saviours of the government were exposed.
The government’s own allies, the two UP parties, also fought on the floor of both the houses. In the Lok Sabha, SP members trooped into the Well protesting the Centre’s decision to cap the subsidy on cooking gas, while BSP members were in the Well demanding dismissal of the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh on the ground of law and order.
In Rajya Sabha, BSP members rushed to the Well raising slogans and created uproar over the issue of reservation to SCs/STs in promotions also.
Meanwhile, parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath has convened a meeting of all party leaders of both Houses on Monday to discuss the issue. “The parliamentary affairs minister informed us in the Rajya Sabha Business Advisory Committee that he will convene an all-party meeting on Monday. Then a final call will be taken on the issue,” CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters here.
Earlier in the day, the Lok Sabha speaker read out obituary references to former members and Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray who passed away during the inter-session period.