Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has been asked to brief the Congress Parliamentary Party on Wednesday morning on the government's move to permit Foreign Direct Investment in the multi-brand retail sector.
For the Congress, the Opposition's implacable stand against the FDI decision, and its stonewalling of Parliament has been bad enough, with its allies, the Trinamool Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham, also demanding a rollback of the decision.
To add to the Congress' woes, now party MPs from Kerala and Uttar Pradesh have begun publicly questioning the decision.
And this is apart from the half a dozen Congress Ministers who expressed their reservations about the policy at the Cabinet meeting where the decision was taken.
On Tuesday, Congress MP Sanjay Singh, who represents Sultanpur, which adjoins Rahul Gandhi's constituency, Amethi, in U.P., told journalists: “Many MPs are opposing this in their own areas. We are party people and I think that the timing is wrong to introduce the FDI. I am not acting as opposition within the party... I feel that the FDI will harm the poor.” He said he planned to write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the timing of the FDI decision would hurt the party's electoral prospects in U.P.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Ramesh Chennithala has written to Dr. Singh opposing the decision. The Congress fears that the Left opposition will exploit the issue and lure away the retail shopowners from among its supporters.