Mamata’s no-confidence move not useful: Karat


New Delhi : Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s no-confidence motion against the UPA will not be useful at this stage as the government has the numbers, CPI-M leader Prakash Karat said Monday. He added that his party was trying to isolate the ruling alliance on the FDI in retail issue.

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The Trinamool, the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s rival in West Bengal, has said it will move a no-confidence motion against the Manmohan Singh government during parliament’s winter session starting Nov 22.

“There is general consensus among the opposition parties that a no-confidence motion against the UPA will not be useful at this stage as the government has the numbers,” the CPI-M general secretary told reporters during an interaction at the Indian Women’s Press Corp here.

“We want a debate with voting on the government’s move to bring foreign equity in multi-brand retail trade to corner the government.”

Karat said the defeat of a no-confidence motion would be seen by the government as an endorsement of its policies.

He denied that the Left parties were divided on the issue.

Stating that a negative vote on the FDI issue will be morally binding on the government, Karat said his party was talking to other opposition parties to politically isolate the UPA on alternative issues, including corruption, high food prices and the proposed food security bill.

“We are talking to other opposition parties. You will get to know our stand in the next 48 hours,” said Karat. “We hope the opposition parties will come to an understanding.”

According to Karat, bringing foreign supermarket chains in India will displace small retail trade and affect around 40 million people.

He also criticised Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, who said parliament had never debated a policy decision, and cited the instance of the NDA government’s move to divest some shares of the public sector BALCO that was debated and defeated in parliament.

He expressed the hope that the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which support the UPA government from outside, would see the CPI-M’s point of view.

“The SP is opposed to the FDI. We will take their view into account,” said Karat.