Union commerce minister Anand Sharma on Wednesday accused the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) of adopting double standards on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, saying the party first supported it and then took an U-turn after its ally BJP opposed it.
"Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal had sent a letter (of support on FDI in multi-brand retail issue) and urged us to pass the bill. When the UPA government passed the bill, the Badals (chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir) also sent a congratulatory letter,"Sharma claimed at a conference in Banur here.
He alleged that after "arm twisting by the BJP", SAD changed its stance and opposed the FDI in multi-brand retail.
Taking a dig at the Badals, Sharma said, "Sardar log kissi sey nahin darte, yeh to BJP se darr gaye (Sikhs are fearless but they (Badals) bowed to BJP pressure)."
Sharma said the FDI in multi-brand retail would help members of the farming community.
"For the benefit of farmers, we have decided to bring in FDI in multi-brand retail. The farmers will not get exploited and consumers will also get products at cheaper rates,"he said.
The union minister charged the Badals with patronising ministers who were allegedly involved in a drug racket.
Attacking the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, he alleged that Modi "stole"the economic ideas of the UPA and only reworked the UPA government's achievements.