Seeking to dismiss reports of differences in NDA over FDI in multi-brand retail, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday said it was opposed to the decision in toto and indicated that it will scrap the policy if it comes to power.
Amid reports that Shiromani Akali Dal President and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, who is a key NDA ally, has softened his stand on FDI in multi-brand retail, BJP said it is opposed to the proposal completely as it is against the interest of the farming community.
BJP clarified that it is not a question of the quantum of FDI to be allowed and the party is fully against it.
Party president Nitin Gadkari elaborated on this point in his inaugural address at the BJP's National Executive Meet.
"We are opposed to FDI in multi-brand retail and once we come to power, the consequences will follow," BJP chief Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, indicating that the NDA will do away with the policy even if the UPA government implements it.
Badal was quoted as saying in the media that had the government not forced reforms on it and acted like a "dictator", the party may have welcomed FDI in multi-brand retail.
Asked about Badal's comments, Prasad said, "We keep talking to Sukhbir Badal and have held discussions with him on this issue also. There is no difference (of opinion between us) at all."
"BJP is of the firm view that FDI in multi-brand retail is not in the interest of India and that is the view of NDA as well," he added.
Asked about the agenda for good governance released by BJP before the 2004 General elections which said the party favours 26 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, Prasad said, "Leave it to us. 2004 is eight years ago. Wait for our manifesto. Gadkari categorically opposed FDI in multi-brand retail."