“Shopping malls will sprout everywhere and the livelihoods of those in small and medium shops will be taken away”
Even as her party’s Ministers were submitting their resignation papers to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee told a congregation at Gaighata in North 24 Parganas district on Friday that she did not care to stay in power and that her fight to protect the interests of the people was on.
She attacked the UPA government for notifying Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail that she described as an “undemocratic and unethical” move forced on the people by the government.
“I roar when faced with threats. I am not afraid … For as long as I live I will live like a tigress,” she thundered, while lashing out at the Centre for its recent decisions on economic reforms, and resolved to put West Bengal at the vanguard of a nationwide struggle against FDI in the retail sector.
This was Ms. Banerjee’s first public address after she announced her party’s withdrawal from the Centre earlier this week.
She reiterated that she was not consulted before the decision to allow FDI in retail was taken, and termed the Centre’s decision as “midnight shopping.”
“This [measure] is undemocratic, unethical and cannot be forced on the people when they are protesting across the country against the move.”
Earlier, she had the following to say in her Facebook page: “This action by a minority government questions its credibility… It is not understandable as to what has prompted the present minority government to take a hurried decision on such an important issue which touches the livelihood of millions of common people.”
Addressing the congregation, she said: “We will not allow anyone to enter our locality… They will take all… all the farm land, the shops and our food,” she said, directing her attack against the sponsors and beneficiaries of the decision to allow FDI in the retail trade.
“Shopping malls will sprout everywhere and the livelihoods of those in small and medium shops will be taken away… After about six months they [foreign retail giants] will tell you what to eat and what not to… This is a dangerous move by the Centre,” she said.