Eight political parties including UPA allies Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Janata Dal (S), have decided to organise demonstrations across the country on September 20 to protest the government's "anti-people measures" of permitting FDI in multi-brand retail and hiking diesel prices.
Shortly after CPM leader Sitaram Yechury's telephonic conversation with the SP chief, representatives of these non-UPA/NDA parties issued a statement alleging that the Manmohan Singh government had "stuck cruel blows on the people one after another" by raising diesel price, limiting subsidised cooking gas, opening up multi-brand retail and divesting PSU shares.
Signatories of the statement include Naveen Patnaik (BJD), HD Deve Gowda (JD-S), Chandrababu Naidu (TDP), Prakash Karat (CPM), S Sudhakar Reddy (CPI), Debabrata Biswas (Forward Block) and TJ Chandrachoodan (RSP) - besides Mulayam Singh Yadav.
"The UPA government has opened multi-brand retail trade to foreign supermarket chains, endangering the livelihood of more than four crore people involved in retail trade and the mass of consumers. It is selling off shares of profitable PSUs and navaratna companies like NALCO and Oil India," the statement further says.
The statement, however, remains silent on the government's decision on Thursday to allow FDI in aviation and broadcasting.