Deepa, Adhir to lead policy battle in rural Bengal
In a move to take the sting out of chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s virulent attack against the implementation of FDI in multi-brand retail, Congress MPs Deepa Das Munshi and Adhir Chowdhury have launched an aggressive campaign to defend the UPA-II policy.
Deepa Das Munshi, who is now campaigning in north Bengal, is taking classes in the villages of North Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar. She is telling the farmers and small traders that FDI will benefit them instead of destroying their livelihood. “Trinamool Congress and the Left are terrorising villagers by telling them that malls would end their livelihood,” said Das Munshi.
Das Munshi has suggested to AICC president Sonia Gandhi that kissan rallies should be held in the country to clear all doubts about the ill effects of FDI in multi-brand retail. According to her, Sonia gave a patient hearing to her idea.
Giving an example of the benefit of FDI in multi-brand retail, she says the pineapple growers of Islampur in North Dinajpur sell their product in the local market and to other States. Pineapples are sold at a high price and those unsold is destroyed.
“But once the big supermarket chains come in, the value for their product is assured. Also, they don’t have to depend on middlemen. Similarly, small shopkeepers will never be affected by the coming of these malls,” argued Das Munshi.
The MP said she would soon hold a workshop with students and youth of the city and districts to remove doubts about FDI in multi-brand retail.
Adhir Chowdhury said these malls would operate in only 53odd towns in the country. There is no reason why villagers should get scared of FDI? “Plus, I am also telling them this state government will not implement FDI so why get paranoid about it,” said Chowdhury.
State PCC under the presidentship of Pradip Bhattacharya has called an executive meeting on October 12 to formulate their strategy to fight back the Mamata onslaught against the implementation of FDI. They will come out with a leaflet to highlight the benefits of FDI in retail.