Won't allow MNC outlets in any Indian city, says Karat

Won't allow MNC outlets in any Indian city, says Karat

CPM to start nationwide dharna against FDI in retail

The CPM on Sunday vowed to “stop and prevent” Wal-Mart or any other global chain if they attempted to open even a single retail outlet “in any place or any city in India.”

 “We will ensure that no retail super-market by multinational chains is opened in any part of the country and we want the Government of India to reverse this policy,” CPM general secretary Prakash Karat declared here, speaking at a party-organised function to release a documentary on the 1992 “Vachaathi atrocities” against hapless tribal people in Tamil Nadu’s Dharmapuri District.

“Everyday this government  is adopting policies that are against the interests of the people and against our national sovereignty”, Karat said, criticising the Congress-led UPA for permitting FDI in multi-brand retail sector.

Next to agriculture, retail trade is the second largest employer in India, as lack of sufficient industrial development and job opportunities led to people who left agriculture with no other scope of earning, Karat said and pointed out that four crore people were in retail trade, running 1.40 crore shops.

If entities like Wal-Mart stepped in, they “can buy up our entire retail trade for that is the kind of deep pockets they have,” Karat warned, and questioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s new slogan, “what is good for Wal-Mart is good for India.” “Can you then imagine the plight of our people?” asked Karat.

The CPM leader announced that the party has decided to “build a big country-wide resistance” against such super-market chains and will involve all sections of the people, including small retailers and shop-keepers, to see that not a single shop was opened by them anywhere in India.

“We will organise this resistance as a country-wide movement”, declared Karat to applause from partymen and volunteers.

Later, in a brief media interaction, the CPM general secretary said they will first start their “struggle” against Wal-Mart and the like in Congress-ruled states which have agreed to implement the new policy.

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