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India: Opposition Leaders blew whistle against FDI in Retail


Monday June 09, 2014

India, FDI in Retail, Campaign, Agitation  
Leaders from various opposition political parties of India termed the FDI in Retail sector as a sinister design to mortgage Indian Markets, Farm Land, Livelihood of labourers and hawkers and future of small industries and transporters at the hands of global retailers.  
HNF Correspondent  

In a Press Conference held by Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) at New Delhi on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, Leaders from different political parties of India for the first time addressed media jointly on any issue and blew the whistle to launch an aggressive nationwide campaign against FDI in Retail Trade.

Senior BJP Leader Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, NDA Convenor Sharad Yadav, Senior CPI Leader A. B. Bardhan and other leaders termed the FDI in Retail as a sinister design to mortgage Indian Markets, Farm Land, Livelihood of labourers and hawkers and future of small industries and transporters at the hands of global retailers.


They called upon the nation to register strongest protest in the larger interest of people and the Country. They made it clear that either the Government should withdraw the notification else they are determined to support the joint national movement of farmers, hawkers, traders and other sectors of retail trade.

CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, while addressing the Press Conference, declared that a "Protect Retail Democracy Maharally" is to be held on March 7, 2013, in Delhi. The rally is to be joined by people from all over the Country in large numbers and leaders from all political parties who are opposing FDI in Retail. " Now this issue has been linked with the votes and whichever political party supporting the FDI in Retail is to be opposed even at polling booth by retail stakeholders to impress upon people not to vote for them", said Khandelwal.

He informed that from now onwards an aggressive campaign has been launched by farmers, hawkers, small industries, traders, transporters, labour unions, consumers and cooperatives. "Before rally of 7th March in Delhi we propose to hold at least 500 Sampark Yatra, more than 100 Chaupal Charcha, about 500 demonstrations, sit-in, effigy burning and other democratic tools of protests. A specially designed "cartoon campaign" will also be launched all over the Country. Round Table Conference, all Party meets, Seminars and Symposiums will also be held in different states of the Country," said Khandelwal.

Addressing the media, senior BJP leader Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi said that "the manner in which the Government is misleading the nation on this issue is nothing short of betrayal and therefore the Government has lost morals in continuing at the office." Joshi, in very plain words, declared that in forthcoming Loksabha elections, if NDA is voted to power, first it will reject the notification of the current government." He also made it clear that the issue is still in the Parliament and as the amendments proposed by the Reserve Bank in rules of FEMA Act are yet to be passed by the Rajya Sabha, the notification is merely a piece of paper. He urged all political parties to lend their support to Maharally of 7th March at Delhi and participate in the same to give a wide message to the Government and the nation that "discretionary rule" will never be allowed in a democratic country.

Janta Dal (U) President and NDA Convenor Sharad Yadav said that under pressure of big corporates and global retailers, the Government is throwing legs on the stomach of crores of people in the Country.  JD (U) leader further cautioned the reigning government saying that the time has come when people may use their legs too to throw out the Government. The Government is propagating false and baseless arguments as advantages in order to sell its decision. "Such game of falsehood with people of the Country which will never be tolerated now," said Jadav urging all political parties to join hands together and support the movement against FDI in retail and make it a "people's movement". Terming the unity amongst the political parties on the issue of FDI as unprecedented, Jadav said that  when there is a collective voice from leaders of different ideologies, the revolution takes birth.

Veteran CPI leader A. B. Bardhan said that "our fight on this issue does not end with a vote in the Parliament. Rather, it will be more intensified now onward and we will be on the road till such decision is not withdrawn. Saying that the "Government has to pay for its lapses," Bardhan regretted that people educated in foreign countries and reading foreign reports are preparing the economic policies which, in real terms, are "anarth policies" and have caused enough damage to the economy. The move of snatching small money from small people and handing over the same to few big corporates is never to be accepted even by filling the jails with opposing people. Bardhan hoped that leaders who committed a mistake in Lok Sabha would not repeat the same in Rajya Sabha. Obviously he was refering to Mulayam Singh, Mayawati and DMK.

All the leaders who joined the Press Conference extended their full support to the 7th March Maharally in Delhi and made a joint appeal to make it a great success.


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