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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Left to Right, FDI issue unites oppn against UPA govt

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 06, 2012
First Published: 23:54 IST(6/12/2012) | Last Updated: 23:55 IST(6/12/2012)

The voices being raised against the government's decision to introduce FDI in retail are many, and the reasons being given are equally numerous.

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CPM leader Sitaram Yechury shrugged off criticism over the Left aligning with saffron parties, stating that opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail cannot be viewed through the 'communalism-versus-secularism' prism. 

Stating that the Left has always been one of the staunchest opponents of communalism, Yechury said that CPM's stand on the issue has been consistent - and his party had opposed it even when they were extending outside support to the UPA-I government.

Yechury cautioned that though Walmart may have a lot of capital, Indian farmers and consumers would not benefit from their presence in the country. 

JDU legislator NK Singh, on the other hand, called for the setting up of a national retail regulator.

Stating that gains from the policy looked dubious and exaggerated, Singh pointed out that the "implementation had been entirely left to self-declaration, with no authority that has statutory powers".

He wanted the government to consider creating a national retail regulator to ensure that the model contract agreement between the farmer and the retailers is implemented.

The shrillest protest, however, came from AIADMK leader V Maitreyan, who moved a motion to oppose the FDI move in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

Calling the UPA a "minority government", he questioned its rationale for taking a decision based on something that was an "unproven assessment at best and damn lies at worst".

"Experiences of other countries that implemented multi-brand retail are well documented. But the Congress doesn't want to learn lessons from other countries. Maybe, they want to experience the 'kolaveri' (rage) first-hand," he said.


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