The Bharatiya Janata Party has asked the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party to clarify their stand on FDI (foreign direct investment) in retail. The SP and the BSP had joined hands with the Congress on the issue despite having claimed that they were opposed to FDI in retail, said the former BJP president and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Rajnath Singh here on Saturday.

“As far as the BJP is concerned it will not allow FDI in retail, as the decision of the UPA government is seen as a step towards economic slavery,” Mr. Singh told journalists at the party headquarters here. The economy had derailed under the UPA regime. Allowing FDI in retail trade would help middlemen and, consequently, farmers would be denied appropriate remunerative price for their produce.

The UPA government’s move had lowered the prestige of Parliament considering that President Pranab Mukherjee had, as Finance Minister, stated in the House that the decision on FDI in retail would not be taken till the confidence of the stakeholders was secured, he said.

Mr. Singh chose to underplay the infighting in the BJP. While admitting that the exit of a senior leader like former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa did affect the party, Mr. Singh said he was confident of its inherent strength. “The Karnataka unit of the party will overcome the crisis and the BJP will return to power in the next elections,” he claimed.

Comments made by leaders such as Ram Jethmalani, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha did not mean that there was a crisis in the BJP, Mr. Singh said adding that party president Nitin Gadkari’s term would be renewed. “Unlike the other parties, no vertical division has taken place in the BJP,” he said.

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