Mamata strongly opposes PM's call on retail FDI

Posted By: Ria
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Mamata Banerjee
New Delhi, Dec 2: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rejected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's call for support on the FDI issue. Mamata claimed that government must secure farmers right first and then think about the FDI policy.

"We are not going to support the government on this issue. There are some sensitive issues on which I have to take a stand. As a party also we have taken a call on not to support FDI in retail.

"I have had a discussion with the Prime Minister on FDI in retail. I told him that we don't want the government to be toppled on this issue. This is a very sensitive issue. But at the same time, it is not possible for us to support FDI entry into retail. I am sorry," said Mamata.

Since you are requesting me, we can discuss this in the party. But our party's stand is clear, she added.

She urged the Prime Minister to withdraw the Centre's decision on the issue. "If necessary, the government should talk to all UPA partners and seek suggestions and ensure that the move is withdrawn," she said.

And added, "the Prime Minister requested me to reconsider my party's stand (on the issue). I requested him if the Centre could reconsider the decision. We have a definite stand on this issue. Our party's stand on this is declared in our manifesto."

Mamata claimed that farmers were forced to buy fertilisers at higher prices. "Who is responsible? The Centre is responsible. The Centre has also not kept its word to raise the minimum support price for jute growers. We have to protect our farmers. That is our government's policy," she said.

The Prime Minister on Friday called the Trinamool Chief Mamata Banerjee seeking her party's support for the FDI in retail as Trinamool Congress is the largest UPA ally with 19 MPs. But Mamata has firmly opposed the Government's decision to allow the FDI in multi-brand retail.

Pranab Mukherjee expressed his views and declared that FDI is must for the growth and the narrow political interest is coming in the way of FDI in retail.

While addressing the Hindustan Times leadership Summit, Pranab said, "Narrow political considerations are coming in the way of decisions like FDI in retail."

Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi expressed his anger over Pranab's statement. He stated that "Parliament is not a Lions Club or Rotary Club. The Constitution is political, everything is political, and this (FDI in retail) is a political issue. Those who think with narrow mind say it is for narrow political gains."

The DMK and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) are still against centre's decision on FDI and the parties want the matter to be discussed in the Parliament.

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