TMC hints at US role

The Trinamool Congress on Tuesday sought to know why the government takes important decisions ahead of the presidential elections in the US.

While the UPA-I had opted to strike the Indo-US civil nuclear deal in 2008, the UPA-II permitted FDI in multi-brand retail ahead of the presidential elections in the US, Saugata Roy of TMC said during a debate on FDI in the Lok Sabha.

Roy also said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on the board of Walmart before joining the government. He furnished a list of events in support of his claim that the government decided to go ahead with FDI in  retail under pressure from the US. He said Clinton visited India in May 2012, to influence New Delhi on the FDI issue.

However, Roy’s assertions invited sharp reaction from External Affairs Minister Shalman Khurshid, who requested Speaker Meira Kumar to expunge the “derogatory” remark. Kumar agreed to go through the speech and eliminate the “defamatory and objectionable” portions, to which Roy objected.

“Does the government of India have to respond to American urging?” Roy questioned. He said the US and China will benefit if FDI in multi-brand retail is implemented in India.

Roy’s comment that “Khurshid was worried over two names, positively for Clinton and negatively for Arvind Kejriwal,”  found support from CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta, who sarcastically remarked that “Khurshid was very much concerned about Clinton.”
The Trinamool MP also expressed concern that opening foreign retailers shut down as many as 40,000 factories in the country.

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