BJP demands probe into reports of lobbying by Wal-Mart

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 10, 2012 16:50 hrs

New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) The BJP Monday demanded a transparent inquiry and response from the government on reports that the international supermarket chain Wal-Mart had spent Rs.125 crore on lobbying activities in the US, including on issues related to enhanced market access for investment in India.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Venkaiah Naidu sought a statement from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said he should explain the government's position on the issue. "We want a fair inquiry and a response from the government," Naidu said.

He said the central government cannot keep quiet on the disclosures made, and added that the party will continue raising the issue in parliament.

Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said lobbying disclosure reports by Wal-Mart speak about the company spending money on lobyying in India.

"It seems they (the government) have laid red carpet (for international retail chains). The decision to allow FDI (multi-brand retail) was taken in a hurry," Prasad said and added that the party wanted an investigation.

Naidu dismissed Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati's allegations that the BJP was hand-in-glove with the Samajwadi Party (SP) in preventing the Rajya Sabha from taking up the bill on promotions in reservation.

"SP and BSP are closest supporters of this government. Their common agenda is to suppport this government," Naidu said.

Asked about the party's stance on the bill for quota in promotions for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, Naidu said the BJP will discuss it when the issue is taken up.

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