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Mulayam claims credit for Reliance Fresh's ouster
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | September 14, 2007 17:05 IST
Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday sought credit for the shutting down of Reliance [Get Quote] Fresh retail outlets within 24 hours of their opening in the state.
While Mulayam has been maintaining that Anil Ambani's gas-based proposed power plant at Dadri (Greater Noida) was nixed because of the industrialist's proximity to him, he told media persons that Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Fresh was shut because of the SP's sustained campaign against the entry of giant players in the retail business.
"We raised the issue on behalf of small traders and vegetable vendors who would have suffered on account of opening of Reliance Fresh stores; and realising that it would have adverse impact on her party, Mayawati had no choice but to shut down the stores," Mulayam sought to point out.
Samajwadi Party-backed traders had staged demonstrations outside a few Reliance Fresh stores on the inaugural day. Terming the demonstrations as a "law and order problem", the Mayawati administration ordered the prompt closure of all Reliance Fresh stores the very next morning under the provisions of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which is normally clamped during riots.
Surprisingly, however, other similar giant retailers like Spencers and Big Bazar have been allowed to carry on business.
He went on to further claim that Mayawati's roll back on the new agriculture policy -- throwing open doors to contract farming in the state -- was also attributable to protests organised by his party against the move. "Even on that front Mayawati realised that such a policy would alienate her party with poor farmers, so she was compelled to withdraw the policy", Yadav added.