Shiv Sahay Singh & Gargi Parsai
Kolkata/New Delhi, September 22, 2012. The Trinamool Congress will move a resolution in the next session of Parliament opposing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, senior party leaders said here on Saturday.
The matter was discussed at a meeting the leaders had with party chairperson Mamata Banerjee at the State Secretariat in Kolkata on Saturday.
Speaking to journalists in New Delhi, Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav remained non-committal on whether his party would support the Trinamool resolution. “We are against FDI in retail and we will decide our parliamentary strategy against FDI and other recent government decisions only ahead of the winter session.”
Earlier, Mr. Yadav told a news channel that his party itself might bring such a resolution. Asked about his “flip-flop” on the issue, he shot back: “I stick to whatever I say.”
In Kolkata, senior Trinamool leader and former Union Minister Saugata Roy told The Hindu that the party’s stand “opposing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail has been very consistent and it has raised the issue in Parliament several times.” The party opposed the issue in its election manifesto before the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and the 2011 Assembly elections, he said.
The party also decided to organise protests in the State and in New Delhi.
Ever since the Trinamool announced its decision to withdraw support to the United Progressive Alliance government, Ms. Banerjee has been campaigning on the issue by posting comments on her Facebook page.
On Thursday, she posted the statement made by the then Union Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, in the Lok Sabha on December 7, 2011 that a final decision on allowing FDI in multi-brand retail would be taken only after consensus was reached.
Later, she questioned the notification by the UPA government on entry of FDI in retail. “Is it ethical, moral and democratic for a minority government to issue [a] government order forcefully and hurriedly when massive protest against it is taking place across the country?”
Mulayam meets Badal
Mr. Yadav declined to divulge details of his meeting earlier in the day with Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal saying he was the son of his old friend, Prakash Singh Badal. The meeting should not be seen as a move towards formation of a Third Front, he added.