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BJP claims Congress opening retail due to US pressure

Last updated on: November 28, 2011 12:46 IST

BJP claims Congress opening retail due to US pressure

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi

Prakash Javadekar, Bhartiya Janata Party's official spokesman, said the government led by Dr Manmohan Singh was yielding under pressure from the United States to facilitate entry of foreign retail chains into the Indian market with a view to enhance their profitability, which has fallen sharply due to economic slowdown.

"The Indian government is toeing the line which [US President Barack] Obama government of [the] United States wants it to do by allowing Walmart's entry into the Indian retail market. This is not acceptable to our party and we would continue to oppose the move. We are told that the consumers would get products cheaply. This is just a pretext to facilitate entry of big malls in India," he said.

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Image: Prakash Javadekar, BJP spokesman.

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Meanwhile, Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi has supported the stand taken by his party. He said on Twitter that he was opposed to the move.

Sitaram Yechuri, CPM leader and member of Rajya Sabha, said his party was opposed to Walmart's entry as it would kill the Indian retail market.

"Those who are currently employed in the retail market would loose their jobs. It would adversely the Indian retail market," Yechuri said in an informal conversation.

Both BJP and CPM have given adjournment notice in both houses of the parliament.

Rajiv Shukla, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, said it was not proper for the opposition parties to disrupt the proceedings of the two houses of the parliament.

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Image: Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India.
Photographs: Reuters
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"The opposition parties should come forward and talk to the government on Foreign Direct Investment in the retail sector. They should allow the two houses to run," he told journalists in the parliament complex on Monday.

Interestingly, President of Kerala unit of the Congress party Ramesh Chennithala and chief minister have written letters to Dr Singh opposing opening of doors to foreign malls in the Indian retail market.

Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms Mayavati have both vowed not to allow foreign malls to operate in their states.


Image: A view of a Walmart store.
Photographs: Reuters
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