Samajwadi Party walks out of Rajya Sabha ahead of FDI voting

New Delhi, Dec 7 (ANI): Members of Parliament of the Samajwadi Party (SP) walked out of the Rajya Sabha on Friday afternoon ahead of the voting on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.

The Samajwadi Party had earlier on Wednesday abstained from the voting in the Lok Sabha on the issue of FDI in the retail sector.

Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav had earlier on Thursday said that his party would not change its stand in the Rajya Sabha when it comes to voting on retail reform after the debate.

"The party has the same stand, which it had in Lok Sabha. That is clear, it is absolutely clear. BSP has nothing to do with us," he said.

The Rajya Sabha will later this afternoon vote on a motion moved by opposition against the government's decision to allow FDI in retail. The voting will take place after the ongoing debate in the Rajya Sabha on the FDI issue.

Asserting that the Centre has done extensive consultations on the FDI issue, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma while replying to the debate in the Rajya Sabha earlier this morning said ' the chief ministers of 14 states including Punjab, West Bengal and Bihar were consulted on this issue'.

Rubbishing apprehensions that small traders will be affected by the FDI move, Sharma said that this would lead to more employment generation in cities and villages alike.

He also refuted the allegation that he had violated the assurance given to Parliament on December 7 last year that decision on FDI was suspended until there was a consensus among the stakeholders.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, however, said the Commerce Minister never wrote a letter to the opposition after December 7.

Communist Party if India (CPI) MP D. Raja speaking on the FDI issue said that his party disapproves the Government's decision.

LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan supported the Government's decision, and said that it will help in bringing down inflation. (ANI)