Refusing to give up on the FDI in multi-brand retail issue, which could affect its core vote bank of small traders, BJP on Wednesday said it will oppose the government decision in Parliament and try to build a joint strategy with NDA partners and other political parties.
“BJP will strongly oppose the government decision on FDI in multi-brand retail in the forthcoming winter session of Parliament. This decision is not in the interest of the country,” party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
He announced that BJP will discuss its strategy with other NDA partners and also get in touch with political parties which have reservations on the issue.
The NDA allies are likely to hold a meeting on November 21, a day before the winter session begins.
“We would like to put the government on the mat on this issue. In November 2011, the then Finance Minister had announced in the Lok Sabha that a decision on FDI in multi-brand retail will be taken only after consulting all concerned sections. A similar statement was made by the then Commerce Minister in the Rajya Sabha,” Mr. Prasad said.
BJP charged that this promise has been violated by the government as it has taken the decision unilaterally.
But the principal opposition is not yet clear to what extent it will go against the government in Parliament.
Though the opposition claims to have support of majority of MPs in both Houses on the issue, the NDA is unlikely to press for a vote on the issue.
Asked if BJP and NDA would rally behind Mamata Banerjee’s TMC in case it seeks division of votes to embarrass the government, the party said it will decide its future course of action in the NDA meeting.
Vadra land deal, coal blocks issue
BJP today hit out at ruling Congress asking why no action is being taken against Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vardra in land deals and the Prime Minister in the coal allocation scam.
“Congress is attacking the Opposition. BJP would like to ask some straight questions. Why are the wrongdoings of Robert Vadra not being investigated? Why are the facts being hidden from the public? Why is there an attempt to shield him?” BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The party alleged that Mr Vadra has been allotted big chunks of land in Rajasthan and Haryana at throw-away prices in complete violation of rules.
“Why is the Congress maintaining a conspicuous silence on this issue?” Mr Prasad asked .
The principal Opposition also dragged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh into its line of fire.
“What was the role of the Prime Minister in Coalgate and why is it not being probed? He was the coal minister when the coal block allocations were made. Is he not answerable for it?” Mr Prasad asked.
The party also asked why Dr Singh is not willing to attend the JPC looking into the 2G spectrum allocations when he earlier offered to appear before the PAC.
BJP alleged that CBI and the Enforcement Directorate are being prevented from undertaking a fair probe into the Malaysian angle in the Aircel-Maxis deal and sought to know “who is pressurising these bodies“.
Mr Prasad said though the Prime Minister had promised in Parliament that he will take action on the findings of the Shunglu Committee, he has not done so. He insisted that the Sheila Dikshit-led Delhi government has been indicted by the panel in the Commonwealth Games projects.