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FDI in retail: Govt to face stiff opposition

July 23, 2012 18:19 IST

Government is likely to face stiff opposition on FDI in retail in the Monsoon session of Parliament beginning on August 8.

An indication to this effect was given by JD-U President Sharad Yadav, who said that there will be unanimity within the NDA on the issue and that his party will also reach out to other parties including UPA allies to put up united fight against this "biggest assault" on Indian economy.

Yadav, whose party has given a notice to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar seeking permission to raise the issue in House during the upcoming session, thanked Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for halting the move on FDI earlier.

Raising the banner of opposition, Samajwadi Party yesterday joined hands with Left parties and JD(S) asking the government not to go ahead with the controversial decision without wide-ranging consensus.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat, CPI General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy, Forward Bloc's Debabrata Biswas, JD-S' Danish Ali and RSP's Abani Roy wrote a joint letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying parties across the spectrum are opposed to this move.

The JD-U chief said he thanked SP, CPI-M, JDS and RSP for opposing FDI in retail, saying "they have rightly done so.

This move will be the biggest assault on Indian economy." "We appeal to all parties including the UPA allies to oppose this anti-people measure. A population of 22 crore  Indians are employed in retail who will be affected by this attempt of the government, in a similar manner like the entry of East India company had destroyed India's trade," Yadav said.

Congratulating Banerjee for opposition to FDI in past, he said, "Mamata Banerjee was the only ally in UPA who opposed it and ensured that there was no move forward on it."

Yadav urged Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, the chief of another UPA ally NCP, to also "realise his responsibility" at a time when droughts are being reported from various states and oppose the FDI in retail saying it would exacerbate the problem by causing huge unemployment.

He said taking care of one's political future is right, but the NCP leader should also realise his responsibility.

The JD-U chief said that all political parties in the country should be united in opposing the move. "We will raise it in Parliament. A notice has been sent by us for taking up the issue in the coming session," he added.

Noting that the East India Company had come to the country in past looking for a market, Yadav said, "the search still continues for the Western world and it gets reflected every now and then -- be it through the statement by US President Barack Obama, the report of international credit agency Standard and Poor, the article in Time magazine or this attempt for FDI in retail," Yadav said.

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