Opposition unrelenting on FDI rollback

FDI vote: Congress gets the numbers in House, corners BJP in Lok Sabha

Opposition unrelenting on FDI rollback

Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav on Wednesday warned the government that it could win the vote on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, but not the war as history would not pardon the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for its anti-people policies.

“You can win this battle, but not the war,” Yadav said taking part in the debate on FDI in retail in the Lok Sabha. He made the remark hours before the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) helped the UPA government win the vote on the FDI in the Lok Sabha.

Yadav, who is also the convener of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, urged the government to roll back its decision. “Sit over it again, have more consultations and roll back the measure. If you do not roll back, then we will roll back your government.,” he said.

He argued that the government’s decision would hurt the interests of the small traders as well as the farmers. “History will not pardon you (Congress), if you implement this,” he added. With speculation rife that the SP and BSP would eventually bail out the government, Yadav told the MPs of the two Uttar Pradesh-based parties: “I am telling this also to those who were with us in the Bharat Bandh, called by the entire Opposition, including Left parties and the BJP in September to protest allowing of FDI in multi-brand retail.”

The SP and BSP had joined the clamour against the government’s decision and even opposed it during the debate in the Lok Sabha. Both parties, however, staged a walkout, thus helping the government to win the vote. Shiv Sena MP Anant Geete compared the government’s move to allow FDI in the multi-brand retail sector with East India Company’s foray into India in the 17th century and warned that foreign retailers would push the small retailers out of business.

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