In yet another scathing attack on the UPA government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday that some people were conspiring to sell the country and lies were being uttered in the name of reforms.
“Do reforms mean training guns at farmers and pushing out shopkeepers from localities?” she said at a rally at Nimtauri in Tamluk in Purba Medinipur district even as she reasserted that a “loot is on [and] lies [are] being said” while the prices of petrol, diesel, cooking gas and fertilizers kept rising.
Ms. Banerjee was critical of the Centre’s decision to allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail. She cautioned farmers and small traders that foreign retail giants would rob them of their land and businesses. “They [foreign retail giants] will totally destroy our country… They will occupy your land, leaving you with nothing. There will be no farmland, no crops and no shops left. The Centre is unable to provide jobs to the people, but is trying to rob them of their livelihoods.”
“Do you know what FDI in retail means? Farmers plough their fields and sell their produce in the markets. Now they [the Centre] are saying it will have to be given to Wal-Mart….I have nothing against Wal-Mart. …In America, Wal-Mart has been told that if it has to do business it will have to buy 60 per cent American items, but in our country the Centre has done away with the 30 per cent restrictions that were there. This is nothing but loot.”
With the opening up of the pension sector to FDI “all your life’s savings will be taken away. When the stock market is down, they will come and take away your money.”