TMC afraid to back FDI over minority vote-bank: Report

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Kolkata, Sept 28: The protest, which took place in Kolkata against the anti-Islam film made in the US on Thursday, also slammed the UPA government's decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, a report published in The Indian Express said on Friday. According to the report, the protesters slammed the decision on FDI, saying the move would benefit the USA. The protest broke out in front of the American Centre here on Thursday afternoon.

It is said in the report that several protesters led by 12 Muslim organisations, most of which were backed by the Trinamool Congress, including the Minority Youth Federation and Fur Fura Sharif Seva Samiti, were demonstrating against the film titled Innocence of Muslims outside the American Centre.

The protest had begun with a meeting in central Kolkata and many Trinamool leaders were present at both the meeting and demonstration, it added. The demonstrators pelted stones at the American Centre and later burned an effigy of Barack Obama, the US President.

The report quoted Idrish Ali, a minority leader of the party, saying, " More than half the protesters were from the TMC. Several party leaders were present at the meeting. We were told that Mukul Roy called senior Muslim leaders present at the gathering and extended his support also." Siyamat Ali of the Trinamool Youth Congress also joined the march, it learnt.

Syed Md Noorur Rahman Barkati, Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid, said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also supported the demonstration, the daily report said. Barkati said the Muslims had supported Banerjee during elections and expected the latter's backing in turn and she obliged.

The Indian Express report also said that a Trinamool leader, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity, admitted that one of the reasons for which the Trinamool opposed the FDI was its minority vote-bank. The party believed its minority supporters could be annoyed if it had supported the reforms.

OneIndia News

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