Venkaiah warns Cong of rout

Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday warned the Congress that it will face a rout in the next general elections if the minority UPA government fails to recall its decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail.

Participating in a debate on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail in the Rajya Sabha, he said the “NDA (regime) favoured 26 per cent FDI in 2004. We were defeated. Do you want the same fate to befall you?”

Accusing the government of being in a “deep slumber and suffering from paraplegic paralysis,” he asked why the  government was reluctant to debate FDI and why it went ahead with the decision without consulting the opposition, its allies and other parties, in breach of the assurance given earlier.

“Had proper consultations been held, this situation wouldn't have arisen. You have not consulted CMs, political parties and others. How can the UPA government, which is in minority, take such a drastic decision,” Naidu questioned.

“If the government has been reduced to minority after withdrawal of support by the Trinamool Congress, it was the  government's duty to consult all parties. It cannot take such a major decision on its own,” he said.

On frequent interruptions from treasury benches and the BSP, Naidu said the government did not want a debate on FDI as “they will be exposed.”

Saying that allowing FDI in a big way will have a devastating impact on farmers, retail traders and others, he asked why the UPA's election manifestos in 2004 and 2009 did not mention the FDI proposal.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Ind) asked the government to put in place an incentive package of concessional credits and low-interest social lending to small traders.

“Such a safety net and incentive policy will be required to make the proposal non-disruptive ...Significant amendments were needed in the consumer protection laws. There is a need for a framework of protection,” he said.

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