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FDI in retail: Logjam ends in Lok Sabha, discussion on December 4 amd 5

As soon as the House met for the day, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar announced her decision to allow a debate on FDI in multi-brand retail under Rule 184, which entails voting and hoped that the House would now function smoothly.

BT Online Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: November 29, 2012  | 17:28 IST

Logjam over foreign direct investment (FDI), which led to a washout of the first four days of winter session in Lok Sabha, ended on Thursday with Speaker Meira Kumar allowing a discussion with voting.

The Lok Sabha will take up discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail on December 4-5.

As soon as the House met for the day, the Speaker announced her decision to allow a debate on FDI in multi-brand retail under Rule 184, which entails voting and hoped that the House would now function smoothly.

Welcoming Kumar's decision, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj assured of smooth functioning of the House, following which Question Hour was taken up for the first time since the session began last Thursday.

But normalcy prevailed only until noon as Trinamool Congress members stormed the Well displaying placards and raised slogans demanding that 24 subsidised LPG cylinders be given to a family per year instead of six at present.

Trinamool Congree, which was part of Congress-led ruling coalition UPA till two months back, also raised anti-government slogans on the issue of 2G spectrum and coal block scams.

The friend-turned-foe of Congress also sought to rub in its opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail with former minister Sultan Ahmed making a personal statement explaining the reasons for his resignation from the government.

Amid thumping of desks by the Opposition, Ahmed said his party was forced to withdraw support to the government as it went ahead on allowing FDI in retail despite giving assurance to Parliament that all stakeholders would be taken into confidence.

His senior party colleague, Saugata Roy, also quoted Lok Sabha rules and urged the Speaker to direct the government to respond to the charges made by Ahmed.

The Speaker refused to give such a direction and continued with the Zero Hour, asking members to raise issues of national importance.

As the members spoke, Trinamool MPs trooped into the Well raising slogans and displaying placards to demand 24 subsidised LPG cylinders to a family instead of the cap of six, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for over 90-minutes.

With inputs from PTI

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