If the BSP abstained on Wednesday to save the government during the vote in the Lok Sabha on FDI in multi-brand retail, on Thursday party supremo Mayawati decided to vote in favour of the contentious policy.
If the BSP abstained on Wednesday to save the government during the vote in the Lok Sabha on FDI in multi-brand retail, on Thursday party supremo Mayawati decided to vote in favour of the contentious policy. The BSP supremo apparently came out in the open to back the government following the BJP’s charge that her party abstained from voting on the FDI issue in the Lok Sabha because of CBI pressure. On Wednesday, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj bluntly said that Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ms Mayawati faced a tough choice: “FDI versus CBI”. Even as the BSP indicated its support to the government, the SP in the Rajya Sabha continued to oppose FDI in retail. Sources said the SP would once again come to the rescue of he government by staging a walkout during voting in the Rajya Sabha on Friday. SP RS member Naresh Aggarwal, while opposing FDI, said the “government should do a rethink on the issue and not allow voting tomorrow”. Declaring her support to the government on FDI, Ms Mayawati launched a scathing attack on Ms Swaraj and the BJP, describing Ms Swaraj’s comments on the BSP’s fear of the CBI as “ghatiya (cheap)”. She said her party decided to back the government after taking into consideration the fact that FDI in retail would not be forced upon the states. This for her was the “only plus point”. She then said: “Like the Lok Sabha, we wanted to abstain in the Rajya Sabha. But if the Opposition’s motion goes through tomorrow, then they will get a political peg and the House will not function. Considering all these factors, we will vote with the government in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow.” Coming back to the saffron brigade, Ms Mayawati said the BJP’s comments that her party was under pressure due to CBI cases shows the party’s “chichorepan, ocheypan aur choteypan (smallness and cheap mentality)”. She ridiculed Ms Swaraj by claiming that the Leader of the Opposition in the LS was suffering from “sour grapes” syndrome. Ms Mayawati held the BJP responsible for the CBI cases against her. She alleged that the BJP used the CBI to target her in the Taj Corridor scam and again the saffron outfit “used the investigating agency to put pressure on the BSP for a pre-poll alliance”. She added: “We have never given in to communal forces. We have never been afraid of the CBI, nor of the Congress and BJP governments at the Centre.”