New Delhi, Dec 3: BJP and the Left today appeared far from convinced that the government had put the FDI in retail decision on hold and asked the UPA dispensation to make a formal announcement if it was serious about ending the deadlock in Parliament.
BJP said it would react only when the Government came out with a formal announcement on putting the FDI issue on hold.
“Till we hear from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on this issue, it will not be appropriate for the BJP to react,” BJP Chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Mamata Banerjee, chief of Trinamool Congress, a key UPA ally, told reporters in Kolkata after speaking to Mukherjee that Government has decided to suspend its decision on FDI in multi-brand retail issue till a consensus is evolved. Her party, Trinamool Congress is opposed to FDI in retail.
“Mamata is saying something on the basis of what the Finance Minister allegedly told her. Unless a formal comment is made by the PM or the Finance Minister, it would not be proper for BJP to react,” Prasad said.
CPI also asked the government to spell out its plans categorically.
“Nobody can make a statement on behalf of the Government of India. An announcement of such nature and import cannot be made by a Chief Minister,” senior CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said.
“Pranabda sought our opinion on the issue and we told him that the Trinamool Congress remains firm (in its opposition to FDI in retail). He informed me that the Cabinet decision on the issue will be suspended until and unless a consensus is evolved,” Banerjee said.
Dasgupta said a statement on the issue, which has disrupted Parliament proceedings for five days, “can only be made by the Prime Minister or a Minister of the government”.
“An announcement by a Chief Minister cannot be taken to be the basis for a comment. The decision has been taken by the Government of India and not by West Bengal,” he said.
UPA ally NCP, however, said this was the right decision required to end the deadlock.
“It is the right decision. Since there is a logjam, it has to be broken. Government has taken the right decision to find a way out of the situation so that Parliament can function and important bills pending can be cleared. We welcome this decision,” NCP spokesperson D P Tripathi said.
Though Banerjee and the TMC seem to have prevailed over the Congress, the ruling party also welcomed the outcome.
“Congress welcomes all meaningful steps to break the stalemate over FDI. In such a situation, a broad consensus is required among different stakeholders. Mamata is our valuable ally,” AICC general secretary Janardhana Dwivedi said.