India government wins upper house vote on retail reform
The upper house of India's parliament has voted in favour of the government's decision to open the retail sector to foreign competition.
The government won with 123 MPs voting in favour and 109 MPs opposing it.
The win came about after the regional Bahujan Samaj Party's 15 MPs voted with the government, which does not have a majority in the chamber.
The BSP said it supported the government because the move was not binding on states.
The party had walked out before the vote in the lower house on Wednesday, helping the government win.
Ahead of the vote in the upper house on Friday, MPs from another regional party, Samajwadi Party, walked out of parliament, bringing down the margin for victory.
The decision to allow foreign direct investment was hotly debated on Thursday and Friday in the 244-member upper house.
Winning the vote will help the Congress party push ahead with further economic reforms to bolster India's slowing economy, correspondents say.
Opposition parties, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), oppose the government's decision to allow global firms - such as Walmart and Tesco - to buy up to a 51% stake in multi-brand retailers in India.