The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will support the nationwide bandh called by major Opposition parties against the UPA government's decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said here on Sunday.
Badal said FDI in retail sector would ruin small shopkeepers and was, therefore, not in the interest of the country. "Being a leading political party, the SAD cannot be a mute spectator of this anti-people decision of the Congress-led union government," Badal told the media after presiding over a function of the Shri Ram Navmi Utsav Committee here. "We will extend wholehearted support to the Bharat bandh call.
He said that after coming to power on the strength of the aam admi's votes, the UPA was bent on ruining them by taking arbitrary decisions.
Pointing out differences among the UPA allies on issues like FDI in retail sector and hike in diesel prices, Badal said due to wrong policies, a "political emergency" was prevailing in the country. "The UPA has lost the support of its key allies leading to instability," he added.
Replying to a query, the chief minister said the state government had been forced to levy fresh taxes as it was mandatory for getting central funds for schemes like the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.
On minister Gulzar Singh Ranike's resignation over alleged misuse of border funds, Badal said he did so on moral grounds. "The law will take its own course," he said. "The vigilance bureau is probing the matter."
The chief minister announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh for the Ram Navmi committee and lauded its role in religious and social fields as well as in imparting education and providing health facilities to the people.