The Bharatiya Janata Party, which is strongly resisting Foreign Direct Investment in retail, on Tuesday appeared to rope in support of Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, saying those against it should demonstrate it in Parliament.
"All those who are against this decision should demonstrate it in reality when Parliament assembles," senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi told reporters.
He was responding when asked about BSP chief Mayawati's assertion earlier in the day that her party is against FDI in retail unless it helps improve the condition of the poor.
When referred to the BSP's decision to hold National Executive on Wednesday to decide on continuance of outside support to the UPA government, Joshi said, "I wish them good luck and I wish they get enough and good advice to take a proper decision and to refuse their support on FDI in multi-brand retail."
The Samajwadi Party has already expressed its opposition to the decision on FDI in retail which has triggered a major controversy even as the government is determined to go ahead with its implementation.
On the government's move to bring bills on FDI in insurance and pension sectors in the next session of Parliament, the BJP leader contended, "They (the government) cannot bring it. This government has no moral or political standing now to bring any law."
On FDI in retail, Joshi also said that the government's claim that entry of foreign retailers like Walmart will create employment in the country is totally false and instead people engaged in the sector will lose their jobs.
He was speaking on a function of traders body CAIT, who are strongly opposing foreign investment in the sector.
He said the notion that the foreign retailers will sell their products at lower prices to consumers was also wrong.
"Walmart's total annual sales is about USD 420 billion and it employs only 25 lakh people. While the market size of Indian retail sector is about USD 400 billion and the sector employs 4.5 crore. The figures clearly reflects the truth. This is wrong notion that entry of foreign retailers will help in creating jobs," he said.
Joshi said that it is not possible for any retailer to sell products at lower prices.
"The US is facing problem in creating jobs. Why Walmart is not creating any job there? We strongly oppose this policy," he said, adding Walmart itself is facing strong opposition in the US and China.
He said the 30 per cent sourcing clause from SMEs will not help the sector as the foreign retailers will ask for all kinds of certificates from the small units before buying anything from them.
"They will dump products from China," he added.
The BJP leader said all the government's decision to allow foreign players are yet another attempt to bring the country in the control of foreigners.
Citing examples of allowing genetically modified seeds in the country, Joshi said now Indian farmers are facing problems in getting seeds at affordable rates.
Speaking at the occasion, senior CPI(M) leader Vasudev Acharya too said that the FDI in retail sector will severely impact farmers and consumers.
Acharya said that the government should roll back its decision.
He said that the government permitted foreign retailers to open stores in the country on the base that the post-harvest losses are huge but "they have given an exaggerated figure".
He said that the UPA government has cheated the nation on the issue.
The UPA government has said in Parliament that they would form consensus on the issue, but without consulting any political party the government has notified the decision on FDI in retail.
"We should fight against the FDI decision together. We will fight in Parliament...We will oppose this decision in Parliament. This policy will impact farmers and consumers," he said.