Mayawati to rescue govt in Rajya Sabha retail FDI vote

NEW DELHI Thu Dec 6, 2012 5:08pm IST

India's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati gestures as she address the media during a news conference in New Delhi December 3, 2012. REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal

India's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati gestures as she address the media during a news conference in New Delhi December 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mansi Thapliyal

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Mayawati, the president of the Bahujan Samaj Party, said on Thursday she would back the government on the FDI-in-retail vote in the Rajya Sabha, virtually ensuring that an opposition motion against the reform will be defeated.

"Our party will vote in favour of the government tomorrow," Mayawati said during a debate on a policy that would bring global chains such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc to India's $450 billion retail sector.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's minority coalition government won a non-binding vote on the same issue in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday thanks to abstentions from the BSP and the Samajwadi Party.

It had looked set to lose in the Rajya Sabha vote scheduled for Friday because it has fewer parliamentary seats there.

However, the capricious Mayawati's unexpected pledge of support from her party's 15 Rajya Sabha MPs means the government may be able to count on as many as 117 votes, which - if the Samajwadi Party abstained - would be just enough to win in the 245-seat chamber.

Mayawati - whose power base is in the country's most-populous state Uttar Pradesh - said her decision was partly based on the government's willingness to let individual states decide whether they allowed in foreign retailers.

A second win on the retail policy will be a much-needed boost for Singh as he tries to drive a second wave of reforms through a fractious parliament. The debate over retail reform has proved a costly distraction for the minority government, eating up two weeks of parliament's month-long winter session.

The government's win on FDI would clear the way for voting on bills aimed at attracting foreign investment to the ailing pension and insurance industries, two measures seen by financial markets as important steps in further liberalising an economy in the midst of a slowdown.

The stock market recovered early losses after Mayawati's announcement, rising for the third day. Gains were led by a rebound in rate sensitive stocks on hopes of momentum on the pension and insurance bills.

(Writing by John Chalmers; Editing by Nick Macfie)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Earnings Season

Earnings Season

Reliance Q4 sales rise, refining margin narrows.  Read 

Innovative Solution

Innovative Solution

Turning smog into jewels - a Dutch designer's solution to Beijing's pollution.  Video 

Insider Trading

Insider Trading

Rajaratnam's brother loses bid to dismiss insider trading charges.  Full Article 

Literary Giant Dies

Literary Giant Dies

Mourning and memories in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's languid hometown.  Full Article 

S&P on India

S&P on India

S&P: India's ratings to depend on next govt econ, fiscal policies.  Full Article 

Ambitious Aim

Ambitious Aim

In green car race, Toyota adds muscle with fuel-cell launch.  Full Article 

Bond Market

Bond Market

A star abroad, RBI boss riles bond traders at home  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage