New Delhi: Sticking to its stand on discussion on FDI in retail without a vote, Congress today said most political parties were ready to accept the decision of Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on the issue.
"One heartening outcome of the all-party meeting was that most political parties were ready to accept the decision of the Speaker on the rule under which the discussion on FDI should take place," Congress spokesman Sandeep Dikshit said.
He said BJP and its allies and also Left parties were still insisting on having a discussion on FDI under Rule 184, which entails voting. "If any party wants to score political points by disregarding rules of Parliamentary procedure, then I would humbly request them to follow the Parliamentary traditions," Dikshit said.
He contended that only those matter that were in the purview of Parliament were discussed under Rule 184 and followed by a vote and all other issues were discussed under Rule 193.
To questions on whether the Congress was apprehensive about a vote on the FDI issue, Dikshit said "neither are we afraid nor do we face any risk. We firmly believe that FDI is good for the people."
He admitted that the DMK had some reservations on multi-brand retail but the same would be addressed in the meeting of the UPA constituents.
"One thing is clear that 300-325 MPs have favoured a discussion but left it to the Speaker to decide under which rule the discussion has to be held," Dikshit said.
Dikshit said if principles of democracy were applied, a majority was keen to leave it to the Speaker the decision on the rule under which the discussion has to take place.
Besides the UPA constituents, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have favoured a discussion but wanted the Speaker to decide on the rules, he said.
"It will be our endeavour to arrive at a consensus. Besides FDI, many other issues need to be discussed in
Parliament. We have already lost lot of time... Many bills have to be discussed and we are not in favour of losing more time," he said.
Dikshit said he would appeal to the BJP to allow the Speaker to decide on the discussion on FDI. The Congress also sought to fish in troubled waters by accusing the BJP of "double standards" while taking disciplinary action against its party MPs.
"BJP is known for double standards. It has been behaving in this manner for years," he said to questions on BJP suspending veteran MP Ram Jethmalani while taking no action against Shatrughan Sinha, who has also spoken against the BJP leadership.