Taking its opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail a step forward, the Trinamool Congress on Sunday said the government's decision on the issue went against the basic tenets of the Constitution and was "illegal".
"The Preamble of our Constitution says India is a sovereign, socialist,
secular and democratic republic. But the present minority government's unabashed championing of privatisation and FDI in all sectors, including multi-brand retail, shows we are moving away from the basic tenets of our supreme national law," leader of Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party Sudip Bandopadhyay said.
His statement came a day ahead of the all-party meeting called on Monday by parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath to resolve the impasse over the issue in Parliament.
FDI in retail is "definitely not socialist in nature and neither is it democratic, as it does not enjoy the support of the majority of MPs," Bandopadhyay, who moved the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha on the issue, said.
Terming the UPA government's decision on the matter as "unconstitutional and illegal", he said the Congress leadership "who would otherwise be ready to attack anyone denigrating its leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, are now themselves hell bent on deviating from her (Gandhi's) declared policies."
The senior TMC leader said it was Indira Gandhi's government which had introduced and adopted the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act in 1976 to add the word 'socialist' to the Preamble of the Constitution.
"No other government of any hue thereafter even thought of changing or dropping this word, though several other constitutional amendments were carried out," he said.
Asking whether FDI was "permissible" under the present Constitution, Bandopadhyay said "all leaders of our party, including our supreme leader Mamata Banerjee, do not think so. That is why we not only opposed all FDIs across the board, but also brought the no-confidence motion."
Noting that all MPs take oath to uphold the Constitution, he said the government "should follow and adhere to it also."
© Copyright © 2013 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.