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Updated: November 30, 2011 00:45 IST

Pranab deployed for firefighting in Congress' own backyard

Smita Gupta
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Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the Parliament House in New Delhi. Parliament was stalled by the opposition due to UPA Government's decision to allow FDI in retail sectors. File photo
The Hindu Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the Parliament House in New Delhi. Parliament was stalled by the opposition due to UPA Government's decision to allow FDI in retail sectors. File photo

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.

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The protest against FDI in retail sector raised by opposition parties,mainly the Left, unusually echoes in treasury bench also, rightly for the concern of the livelihood of crores engaged in retail trade who cannot dream of battling the giant MNCs like Carryfour, Wall mart,and the likes.Now Congress may either try to bulldoze the internecine protest, or may shelve the move risking popularity.Anyhow, this has left a dischordant note to the intent of UPA govt, which is seen on its marks to push through reforms, sweet and dear to it. The ruling party already seen haggard with liteny of charges of corruption,may have to buy reprieve till the dust dies down. With the heat generated against FDI both from within and without, the fate of the FDI bill appears uncertain.The aam aadmi sarkar, caught on the wrong foot by its own party leaders should wake up to the turn of events.

from:  C.Chandrasekaran
Posted on: Nov 30, 2011 at 13:58 IST

PM has asserted that FDI in retail would create more jobs, improve farmers' remuneration
and bring 'latest technologies' in India. In other words, what the UPA government failed to
achieve in these areas in its regime for the past seven years, the multinationals will achieve
through this sudden policy initiative when not only the entire opposition but also some of the
allies in the UPA have stoutly opposed this move. Even within the congress party there are
internal dissensions. That when the paliament was stalled from day one in the winter session
on the issues of black money, inflation, Lokpal bill, Telangana and Mullaperiyar did not
attract the government attention and the government instead of tackiling these issues, chose
to thrust this controversial decision without any discussion in the parliament makes one to
conclude that the government has made its move as an escape route from all other issues.
Like the nuclear deal in UPA I , it must face a floor test on FDI in retail.

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Nov 30, 2011 at 08:19 IST

PM has asserted that FDI in retail would create more jobs, improve farmers' remuneration
and bring 'latest technologies' in India. In other words what the UPA government failed to
achieve in these areas in its regime for the past seven years, the multinationals will achieve
through this sudden policy initiative when not only the entire opposition but also some of the
allies in the UPA have stoutly opposed this move. Even within the congress party there are
internal dissensions. That when the paliament was stalled from day one in the winter session
on the issues of black money, inflation, Lokpal bill, Telangana and Mullaperiyar did not
attract the government attention and the government instead of tackiling these issues, chose
to thrust this controversial decision without any discussion in the parliament makes one to
conclude that the government has made its move as an escape route from all other issues.
Like the nuclear deal in UPA I , it must face a floor test on FDI in retail.

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Nov 30, 2011 at 08:17 IST

PM has asserted that FDI in retail would create more jobs, improve farmers' remuneration
and bring 'latest technologies' in India. In other words what the UPA government failed to
achieve in these areas in its last regime for the past seven years, the multinationals will be
achieve through this sudden policy initiative when not only the entire opposition but also
some of the allies in the UPA have stoutly opposed this move. Even within the congress
party there are internal dissensions. That when the paliament was stalled from day one in the
winter session on the issues of black money, inflation, Lokpal bill, Telangana and
Mullaperiyar did not attract the government attention and the government instead of tackiling
these issues, chose to thrust this controversial decision without any discussion in the
parliament makes one to conclude that the government has made its move as an escapE
route from all other issues. Like the nuclear deal in UPA I , it must face a floor test on This
issue.

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Nov 30, 2011 at 08:15 IST
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