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PM hopes parliament will function normally from Wednesday

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday expressed hope that parliament would function normally from Wednesday after it meets after a four-day break, but opposition parties demanded the government clarify on the supposed decision to suspend foreign equity in retail

"Hopefully," said the prime minister at the Navy Day "At Home" to queries if parliament would function normally Wednesday.

The winter session of parliament has seen repeated adjourments mainly on the issues of government's decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail and rising prices.

The opposition has demanded a roll back of the FDI decision, while some of government's allies, including the Trinamool Congress, have expressed strong reservations.

Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee Saturday quoted union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as saying the government had decided to suspend the decision but there has been no official announcement.

The opposition parties have said that they would comment after an official announcement but insisted that the government should roll back the FDI decision or agree to an adjournment motion on the issue.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Tarun Vijay Sunday said that government should spell out its stand officially.

"Let the government come and clarify its position. It should come clean. We will not comment till then," Vijay said.

Referring to remarks of Banerjee, he said: "The government has, perhaps, floated a trial balloon in the form of roll back."

He said the party will not be satisfied if the decision is "put in cold storage".

"This is a clever escape route the government is trying to adopt. We want the government to reject it unequivocally or there should be debate on the issue with voting," Vijay told IANS.

Comunist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Basudeb Acharia said that the party will formulate its response after seeing government statement.

"Whether they have suspended it, for what period...suspending the decision is not enough. They should roll back," Acharia said.

He said the party continues to stick to its stand for adjournment motion to get a sense of the house on the issue.

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