Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said on Saturday that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail would not be allowed in the State as farmers and petty traders would be ruined.

“The Samajwadi Party is not in favour of FDI in retail and its stand has been made known. Retail stores will not be permitted in the State,” Mr. Yadav told a press conference.

To mark completion of six months in office, he announced that farmers would receive free irrigation water, from canals and government tube wells.

The Chief Minister left any decision on his party’s withdrawal of support to the UPA government, following the decisions on FDI in multi-brand retail and diesel price hike, to his father and party president Mulayam Singh.

“Netaji will take a decision on withdrawing support to the UPA government,” he said. However, his party would continue to support the Centre “on the issue of keeping communal forces out of power.”

Even as he underlined his government’s stand on FDI in multi-brand retail, he favoured FDI in sectors like power and road infrastructure. The SP had already registered its protest on the increase in diesel price, he said, but parried a query on whether his government would reduce the VAT on diesel.

Law and order

He admitted that the law and order situation in the State needed improvement. Referring to Friday’s communal incident in Muradnagar in Ghaziabad district, in which one person was reportedly killed, the Chief Minister said: “It is true incidents are taking place but the government is relentlessly pursuing the objective of improving the law and order situation as well as sensitising the police force.”

He said action would be taken against the police officers guilty of failing to prevent the communal outbreak.

Listing the achievements of his government, he claimed that several important public welfare measures like unemployment allowance and ambulance service for the poor were taken. He added that the Kanya Vidya Dhan scheme would be relaunched from Jhansi and Lalitpur on September 27 and 28.