In poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, chief minister Mayawati blasted Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Saturday over the centre's move to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the retail sector.
Alleging that the UPA government's decision was taken to benefit the companies of foreign friends of Gandhi, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief said her government would not allow it in the state.
"In a bid to benefit foreign companies and to make the country a slave on the lines of the East India Company, the Centre has decided to hand over the country's economy to companies like Walmart," said Mayawati at a press conference. She said the company would bring cheap goods from China to sell here and that would lead to closure of small businesses.
The CM shot off a letter on the issue to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday.
She demanded that the decision be rolled back immediately, failing which, she threatened to launch an agitation. Mayawati said the BSP would stall the functioning of the Lok Sabha if the Centre did not reverse the decision. The BSP has 20 MPs and extends outside support to the UPA government.
Evading a query on whether she would withdraw support to the UPA government, Mayawati said appropriate decision would be taken at the right moment. She said the bill had so far not been tabled in the House and only the cabinet had cleared it.
Hitting out at Gandhi, who is touring the state in the run-up to the assembly polls, Mayawati said the "Congress yuvraj" was "resorting to theatrics to bring his party to power".
She said, Gandhi was brought up and educated in a foreign country, and so his mindset was also that of a foreigner. "Whenever he comes to UP, he brings along his foreign friends on leisure trips and entertains them by taking them to the huts of poor people, making a mockery of their poverty," she alleged.