The Bharatiya Janta Party workers staged a protest in front of the Office of the Deputy Commissioner here on Wednesday against the Union Government opening up a retail market sector for foreign direct investment.

President of the district unit of the party K. Padmanabha Kottari addressed the gathering.

In a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, he said that now the retail sector had provided employment to four crore people. Retail sector contributed to 14 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country.

Mr. Kottari said that the Union Government had taken a unilateral decision on the matter. It was to protect the interests of multi-national companies.

If multi-national companies were allowed in retail sector, many small families whose life depended on retail trading would come to the streets. It would only increase unemployment, he said.

The BJP said that the United Progressive Alliance Government was under the grip of foreign capitalists. The memorandum said that the UPA Government was misleading people by stating that its decision would help farmers as there would be no menace of middlemen. He said that opening the sector for FDI would affect many labourers as well.