New Delhi: The political upheaval over FDI in retail failed to subside on Tuesday despite an all-party meeting, with a united opposition, joined by UPA constituents Trinamool Congress and DMK, stalling proceedings by remaining adamant on their demand for a rollback.
No business was transacted in either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha as trouble started as soon as the Houses met for the day.
Earlier, an all-party meeting convened by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee over the FDI issue resulted in a failure with opposition demanding nothing short of rollback.
However, Mukherjee told them that no decision in this regard could be taken without consulting the Union Cabinet, which had approved allowing 51% FDI in multi-brand retail last week.
‘FDI wapas lo, Sansad chalao’ (Revoke FDI decision, run Parliament) was the refrain of the opposition inside and outside Parliament, which has virtually not transacted any business since the Winter Session began last Tuesday.
It was trouble from the beginning in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha over the FDI issue, as also a range of demands including separate Telangana and safety of Mullaperiyar dam.
Two key constituents of the UPA - Trinamool Congress and DMK - also joined the opposition to protest against the government’s decision to allow 51% FDI in multi-brand retail. Trinamool members were seen in the aisle shouting ‘Cancel FDI in retail’.
Both Houses were first adjourned as soon as they assembled at 1100 hours and again after they reassembled at noon as members from BJP, TRS, Left parties and others trooped into the Well.
Many of the members carried placards saying ‘Withdraw decision to open retail sector to FDI, ‘Introduce separate Telangana Bill’ and ‘Save people of Kerala, ensure Mullaperiyar Dam’s safety’.
Congress members from the Telangana region raised slogans from the aisle carrying placards, while TRS MPs came into the Well demanding creation of separate Telangana state.
At the all-party meeting, Mukherjee tried to resolve the logjam over the FDI issue telling an unrelenting opposition it would discuss the demand for a rollback with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
The opposition parties, led by BJP and the Left, stuck to their stand and demanded rollback of the Cabinet decision on the issue.
Similar scenes were witnessed in Rajya Sabha as Opposition members began shouting slogans against the FDI decision even before chairman Hamid Ansari took his seat.
“FDI vapas lo, vapas lo,” they shouted as Ansari took up the first listed question.
Virtually no business could be transacted as the entire Opposition supported by Trinamool Congress protested seeking rollback of FDI in retail.
BJP, BSP, JD-U and AIADMK members shouted slogans demanding withdrawal of the decision to allow FDI in retail, while Left MPs from Kerala moved into the aisles displaying banners highlighting the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam.
Barely couple of minutes into the din, Ansari adjourned the House till noon.
Similar scenes were witnessed when the House re-assembled at noon and deputy chairman K Rahman Khan adjourned it for the day.