Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has asked her party to spearhead the attack on the UPA over FDI in multi-brand retail in a bid to steal the show from the Left and other opposition parties over a 'pro-people' issue.
Trinamool, a key ally of the Congress, demanded a rollback of the policy, ahead of many other parties raising similar demand. Its parliamentary party leader Sudip Bandopadhyay - a minister of state-even went out along with other party MPs in Lok Sabha on Monday to protest against the government's decision.
Adding to the woes for the UPA, the DMK too demanded a rollback.
Later in the afternoon, Bandopadhyay received call from Banerjee asking him to maintain the party's pressure on the government till it rolls back its decision to allow 51% FDI in multi-brand retail.
While key UPA crisis managers tried to contact Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata, she remained "unreachable".
"We are not interested in any discussion on the issue on the floor of the House. We want the government to immediately roll back the decision," Bandopadhyay told HT.
FDI a tsunami, says Karunanidhi
Chennai: After Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in Bengal, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi became the second UPA ally to join the chorus against Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail. Demanding an immediate withdrawal of the Centre's decision, Karunanidhi said, "Through the FDI, India will have to face a tsunami-like situation… with small traders and poor consumers losing their livelihood".
The statement was issued a day after Tamil Nadu chief minster and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa declared her intention to ban the entry of global hyper markets in the state.
In an indication of support to his bete noir's decision, Karunanidhi further said the Centre's insistence that all state governments accept the decision cannot be justified.
Centre should have consulted us: Naveen
Bhubaneshwar:The Centre should not have taken the decision on FDI without consulting the states, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday.
Conveying his distress about the Union cabinet's approval to 51% FDI in the retail sector, he wrote, "In a federal country like ours, the Union government should not have taken such a major policy decision without consultation with the state governments." The biggest challenge facing the country is inflation. Instead of tackling that, "the Central government has allowed FDI in a sector which provides employment to a major section of the workforce in the country," Patnaik wrote.
The move, he said, would only favour the large multi-national corporations.