The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has blamed the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party for the defeat of the Opposition motion in Parliament against the government decision to allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.

The government managed to negate the motion, what with the opportunism of the Samajwadi Party and the dubious position adopted by the Bahujan Samaj Party. Both spoke out against allowing foreign players in retail trade, but acted in such a manner as to help the government stave off the challenge, the party said in a statement, issued at the end of the two-day Polit Bureau meeting here on Friday.

“The debate in both Houses of Parliament revealed that an overwhelming number of parties, representing a clear majority of MPs, are not in favour of allowing FDI in retail. This reflects the views of the majority of the people…” The strong opposition registered in Parliament and the government’s minority status on the issue should be utilised to intensify the struggle against the entry of Walmart and other foreign supermarket chains into India, the party said, vowing to continue mobilising public opinion.

The Polit Bureau also reiterated its opposition to the cash transfer scheme. “In a period of high inflation, cash transfers to replace subsidised goods are actually meant to cut subsidies since the cash… will not cover the increased costs of grains or fertilizer.” The cash could also be used for other consumption needs; this would push up malnutrition and hunger. The scheme would only result in the dismantling of the public distribution system and halting of procurement from farmers. As to the plan to link wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act to the Aadhar card, the party said bio-metric identification of manual workers had a 20 per cent margin of error as their fingerprints kept changing. The universality of the scheme would also be restricted.

Furthermore, the bill to issue Unique Identification Numbers to the people had not yet been passed by Parliament, but the government was going ahead with such far-reaching measures.

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