NEW DELHI (TIP): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will host a dinner for United Progressive Alliance (UPA) leaders on Friday in an attempt to consolidate his government’s strategy ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament.
Dr. Singh’s dinner with UPA leaders comes close on the heels of his similar interactions with leaders of crucial outside supporters Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). He hosted a dinner for SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh last week and followed it with lunch for BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday. The government is facing the prospect of dealing with a opposition-sponsored motion entailing voting on FDI and even a possible threat of a no-confidence motion.
BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad had earlier said that his party would strongly oppose the government decision on FDI in multi-brand retail in the forthcoming Winter Session of Parliament. Asserting that the decision to approve FDI in multi-brand retail is not in the interest of the country, Prasad announced that that ‘the BJP will discuss its strategy with other NDA partners and also get in touch with political parties which have reservations on the issue’. Allies of the BJP-led NDA are likely to hold a meeting on November 21 a day before the Winter Session of Parliament.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a crucial ally of the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre, continued the suspense over its stand on any resolution, which may be introduced in Parliament concerning the FDI in multi-brand retail. “Small and medium retail traders in Tamil Nadu are apprehensive that FDI would greatly affect them. We would discuss and take a decision on this (FDI) keeping their interest in mind,” DMK chief M. Karunanidhi told mediapersons in Chennai.
“Let the DMK’s stand remain a suspense. Only a movie with suspense does well,” he added, when asked about the DMK maintaining suspense on its stand over the FDI issue and whether it would support a no-confidence motion against the UPA Government. The support of DMK, which is the second largest ally with 18 Lok Sabha MPs, is very crucial for the UPA after the exit of Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC). The Winter Session of Parliament will begin on November 22.