The All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Thursday told the Rajya Sabha that the decision of the “minority” UPA government to permit FDI in multibrand retail was a violation of its assurance that it would consult all stakeholders and create consensus.Neither the Chief Ministers nor the States were consulted nor was an all-party meeting held to build consensus.
Initiating the discussion on the Opposition motion against FDI, AIADMK leader V. Maitreyan said that on the one hand the government says there was an enabling clause for giving States the option of implementing the policy, on the other, it did not even consult States.
He said AIADMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had “strongly condemned” the policy and said it would not be implemented in the State.
He charged the DMK with “hunting with the hounds and running with the hares” when the party joined a “bharat bandh” by the Opposition parties and “when it comes to voting it goes and backs the government.” This statement brought the DMK members on their feet.
“By abstaining from voting in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party had given a fresh lease of life to the retail FDI which was on ventilator.”
The AIADMK leader said that as the Leader of the Opposition in 2002, Manmohan Singh had opposed FDI in retail and “today as Prime Minister he has become the prime mover of the policy.” UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi too was against the policy in 2005 and had questioned Dr. Singh about it.
Mr. Maitreyan said he was baffled that with a “small” investment of $67 million, which was estimated to come into the country as FDI, global retail giants could well be in control of nearly more than $500-million Indian retail market. The policy covered only 53 cities because the multinational giants were not interested in “our rural brethren.”