Editorial Desk: The BJP was aiming at putting the government in a tight spot by pressing for a vote on FDI in Retail in Parliament. But the strategy back-fired, as the new Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath managed the floor effectively and ensured that the government doe not land in any embarrassing situation.
There is little doubt that the Congress failed to play the communal card to keep the BJP isolated, as parties like CPI, CPM, Trinamool Congress, BJD, TDP and many others voted in favour of the BJP-sponsored motion on the floor of Lok Sabha. They did not buy the Congress argument of not voting with the BJP.
However, without bothering for any consequences, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and Maywati’s BSP came to the rescue of the government. The BJP and Lefft may call it opportunism or CBI pressure, but the Congress had the last laugh. Mayawati was more vocal, as she abstained in Lok Sabha, but decided vote for the government in Rajya Sabha.
Samajwadi Party abstained in Lok Sabha and would do the same in Rajya Sabha. That’s what the Congress wanted. Ironically, both Mulayam and Mayawati are opposed to FDI in Retail and vowed not to allow it in Uttar Pradesh. They spoke against it during the debate, but did opposite when it comes to voting on the motion. They did not go with the Opposition, giving a massive jolt to anti-Congress forces and giving much-needed breather to the ruling party.
Maya and Mulayam are least bothered about what Opposition parties say. They know their base is more or less limited to Uttar Pradesh. They don’t have much stake in other states. Since FDI is not coming to Uttar Pradesh, they don’t have to answer to their people. So, they chose to do what they felt was right. The UPA survived the acid test. The Congress emerged as the biggest gainer, as it got BSP in its fold, if not Mulayam completely.