Ahead of the winter session of parliament that starts later this week, the Congress is exuding confidence that is not justified by its numerical strength.
“It is a matter of having 272 on your side, or getting a majority from among those who vote. We are confident that we shall have the numbers, whatever be the issue at a stake — a no-confidence motion or any other motion under a rule that entails voting,” said party spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit.
He refused to get into speculation about the possibility of the main opposition BJP joining hands with Mamata Bannerjee’s Trinamool Congress on the question of a no-confidence motion. “A no-confidence motion is a well-thought out parliamentaray device, and it will be largely the BJP’s own decision,” he said.
However, the Congress has stuck a defiant note on the question of parliamentary approval for the government’s decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail.
“This is an executive decision, and in the constitutional scheme of things such decisions are not subject to parliamentary approvals, unlike legislations. The decision has already been taken, and any opinion expressed by the parliament would have no bearing on it,” Dikshit said.
He also stressed that the state governments have the right to allow companies FDI in multi-brand retail. “Now even if all the MPs oppose it, how can they take away the right of any state government to allow this investment,” he added.
Even as it exudes this confidence, the Congress is aware that some of the key allies and supporting partners have reservations on the FDI issue, and if theydo not support the govenment on the floor of the house, then the situation could be deeply embarassing for both the UPA government and the Congress party.