Asian Age Correspondent
New Delhi, 28 November 2012. The DMK’s announcement that its 18 MPs would support the UPA-2 government in the event of a vote on FDI in multi-brand retail in the Lok Sabha, though “in bitterness”, strengthened the government’s hand on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed confidence that the numbers in Parliament are in favour of the UPA and the government indicated that it was not averse to a discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail under any rule, a move that could end the deadlock in Parliament.
Claiming that the government is not concerned about a vote, parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath said the Speaker should decide under which rule the House should discuss the matter. Meanwhile, the DMK showed the green flag to UPA managers, indicating to it that the party would vote in favour of FDI.
“We are confident of the numbers,” the PM told reporters after a meeting of the UPA coordination committee. The leaders presented a united picture as news of DMK support came from Chennai.
The Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad had met DMK chief M. Karunanidhi on Sunday. The party has decided on this course with “bitterness” to keep communal forces out of power, Mr Karunanidhi said. “One should not forget the situation of the UPA government falling if a discussion and voting take place under Rule 184 in Parliament…,” he said.
“Though there may be thousands of differences still persisting on the issue and considering the consequences if the government falls at the Centre, in bitterness, the DMK has decided to support the UPA government on the issue,” Mr Karunanidhi said.
In New Delhi, Mr Kamal Nath said, “The UPA is fully united on any decision of the Speaker and the government… All constituents are firmly behind the government.” Mr Nath said the government was “not averse” to discussion under any rule. “I said it yesterday. I am repeating it today,” he said.