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
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,"
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.