In an attempt to set the controversy at rest, Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee on Friday said there was no mention in the party’s manifesto favouring large domestic and foreign capital in retail.

Reading out from the 2009 Lok Sabha election manifesto, Mr. Chatterjee said point no. 42 in the document stated, “We [Trinamool] are opposed to foreign direct investment in the retail market.”

The matter was raised by both the Congress and the Left Front on Thursday, and Trinamool chairperson and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee responded saying that what appeared in the manifesto was a “printing mistake.” Soon after, the document was removed from the Trinamool website.

Now Mr. Chatterjee told journalists here: “The State Congress chief and the chairperson of the West Bengal Left Front Committee are engrossed in criticising Mamata Banerjee that they are unable to read Bengali properly.”

Mr. Chatterjee pointed out that in December 2007, the Trinamool moved a resolution in the Assembly, seeking to prohibit the entry of large domestic and foreign capital in the retail sector. “But the Left Front and the Congress opposed the resolution. Now, there’s a drama going on, and a bandh has been called to oppose FDI in retail.”

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