SP doublespeak leaves FDI fate hanging in balance

Key UPA supporter Samajwadi Party on Thursday sent mixed signals keeping everyone guessing on how it would vote on the issue of FDI in multibrand retail in Parliament next week.

“We will vote against FDI in Rajya Sabha if the government brings it there,” SP leader in the Upper House Ramgopal Yadav told reporters in Parliament in the morning when it became clear the issue would be voted.

Asked if the party will vote against FDI in the Lok Sabha, he shot back, “Ask our leaders from the Lok Sabha.”

When queried whether the party could have different positions in the two Houses, he said, “This happens many times. This has happened in the past also.”

However, hours later SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose party has 22 members in the Lok Sabha and nine in the Rajya Sabha, was not that forthright on the party’s stand when he spoke to reporters in Lucknow.

“As far as FDI issue is concerned, our party is strongly opposed to it,” he said.

When pressed on what stand his party would take in the parliament, “In politics, the future cannot be foretold. Decisions are taken as per the situation”.

His son, and U.P. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav that the decision on voting would be taken by the party president.

“On the FDI issue, it would be decided in the House,” he said.

SP leaders have been saying that the party will oppose FDI but have remained ambiguous on voting.

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