Swaraj said former Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had promised that all political parties and chief ministers of various states will be taken into confidence and a decision will be reached only after understanding their views on the matter. She accused the government of violating the promise. She spoke on the probable ill-effects of FDI in the Indian context.
Earlier, the UPA government said that it was confident of the required numbers in the Lok Sabha where a debate on FDI in multi-brand retail begun at 2 pm on Tuesday.
Swaraj moved the motion which read: "This House recommends to the government to immediately withdraw its decision to allow 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail trade."
The motion for the modification of the FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) notification, which was tabled in the Lower House on Nov 30, will also be taken up besides the FDI. The Lok Sabha needs to approve the FEMA rules to facilitate the FDI in retail.
Senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Saugata Roy and National Conference leader Hassan Khan moved counter motions against the government's notification on the FEMA rules.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath flayed the BJP's opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail, saying such stand was not in the nation's interest.
Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath slammed the BJP's opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail, saying such tactics were not in the interest of the country. He said the motion tabled by the principal Opposition party in both houses of the parliament will be defeated. He said the BJP was just playing politics in the name of FDI and appealed to all parties to defeat it.
The BJP said all parties should firmly stick to their strong stand on FDI, which they had adopted outside Parliament.
The two rival parties from Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), were yet to clarify their position on the FDI issue although the government was confident that both the parties would support FDI in retail, either through support or abstention that would help the UP to sail through.
BSP chief Mayawati said she would not go with the 'communal forces', hinting she would support the government, but also was pressurising the government to pass an amendment bill for reservation in jobs for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. The SP was opposing the legislation with occasional vagueness.
The TMC, which had quit the government in September over the FDI issue, said it will vote against it.