NEW DELHI, Dec 2 � Government today said it was confident of its �numbers� to win the crucial vote on FDI in multi-brand retail in both Houses of Parliament that will follow a debate on the contentious issue this week, reports PTI.
As UPA�s outside supporters Samajwadi Party(SP) and BSP kept their cards close to their chest, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said he has got no assurance from the two parties but expressed confidence they will support the ruling alliance.
Nath also claimed that the FEMA notification dealing with FDI in retail has to be passed by only one House of Parliament, contesting the Opposition stand that the decision cannot be implemented if it falls in Rajya Sabha, where UPA lacks majority.
The debate in the Lok Sabha under a rule that entails voting is expected to take place on December 4-5 and later in the Rajya Sabha.
�We are in talks with them (political parties)... We are confident that we will be able to carry it through in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha... I am confident of my numbers,� he told Karan Thapar on Devil�s Advocate.
He denied that the government is trying to manipulate the members from abstaining or coming to vote on FDI.
�I have good reason to believe that they (SP and BSP) will vote with the government because they are a responsible party and that they will understand the politics of it... They are not going to vote for the politics of the BJP,� Nath said.
�At this moment I have no assurance from any political party. All I know is I believe that I will be able to prevail upon political parties to make them understand what is behind this vote,� Nath said.
The minister stated that he is in talks with everybody.
On the issue of Foreign Exchange Management Act(FEMA) notification, Nath said, �If one House has passed it, it passes. It does not need both Houses to pass it. That�s what is prescribed in the rules.�
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury had said that as per rules, FEMA notification on allowing 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail has to be laid and passed in both Houses of Parliament. Failure to do so will be challenged in court, he had said last week.
Nath did not agree with this contention of the Opposition. �Anything can go to court. If it goes we will deal with it,� he said.
The minister insisted that the rules are separate for Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Nath, however, accepted that FEMA notification � which can be passed in the budget session as well as the government has 30 working days of Parliament to get the nod � may drag into the next session which is three months away.