Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday rejected the Opposition’s charge that the decision to allow FDI in retail was taken to please the US, saying the country cannot be dictated by others.
“What has the US got to do with this? We are not a country to be dictated by others,” Singh said on the sidelines of Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir’s swearing-in at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi had on Friday targeted Singh on the issue. His party, on Saturday, reminded the Prime Minister how he had opposed FDI in multi-brand retail till 2004 and sought to know why he had made a U-turn.
Singh made it clear the UPA government would continue with economic reforms and dismissed talk of early elections. “We will do what’s good for the country… Reforms are not a one-off process,” he said.
He allayed the apprehensions of UPA allies that the hike in diesel prices and cap on subsidised LPG could hurt electoral prospects, saying: “We are far away from elections.”
Singh even said he was “not bitter” about Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s attacks on him.
He welcomed the Supreme Court’s opinion on the reference sought by the President on how natural resources should be allocated. “We will honour and respect the judgment. We welcome it,” Singh said.