The NDA scaled up its attack on the UPA government on Saturday, with BJP patriarch LK Advani telling reporters just after an NDA meet that it was better for the Centre to seek a fresh mandate and not wait till 2014. Even as the NDA announced a Bharat Bandh, its key CMs hit out at the Centre over reforms.
"It would be prudent and wise for the government to decide not to wait till 2014 for people to give their opinion," Advani said. "They should resign and call for fresh polls."
The NDA decided to call for a Bharat Bandh on September 20 against diesel price hike, gas cylinder cap, FDI in multi-brand retail and corruption. The Shiromani Akali Dal, which has in the past supported FDI in retail in principle, was also present. A SAD leader told HT the party would stand with the NDA politically on the issue.
Advani alleged that FDI in multi-brand retail had been announced by the government - in violation of a commitment in Parliament that they would seek consensus on the matter - to divert attention from the coal scam. He also referred to media reports suggesting the PM had told Sonia Gandhi that he was not responsible for the coal allocations and had agreed to them on Ahmed Patel's insistence.
BJP chief ministers too attacked retail FDI, with Narendra Modi saying in Bhavnagar: "You (Prime Minister) are allowing foreign traders to enter India.....what would be the percentage of businessmen from Italy, the country wants to know."
MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, "Foreign investment in grocery cannot be accepted leaving our people jobless. It will not be implemented in Madhya Pradesh."
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar dubbed the UPA's decision to allow FDI in retail as "suicidal", saying it suggested the government was being self-destructive and was on its way out.