Highlights of the Rajya Sabha high drama
Derek O'Brien, Trinamool Congress
- FDI no more or less than foreign direct instruction.
- The Trinamool Congress is against a policy that looks at India only as a market.
- This country is not yet ready for FDI in multi-brand retail.
- The government needs to be sensitive to the Human Development Index. When the government brushes aside HDI for FDI, it breaches a fundamental contract with the people.
Mayawati, Bahujan Samaj Party
- BJP used the CBI to put pressure on me to agree to a pre-poll alliance. We have never given in to communal forces. We have never been afraid of the CBI nor of the Congress and BJP governments at the Centre.
- The policy should be tested and the government should not decide in a hurry. We suggest that the Centre try this policy out in some Congress-ruled states and see how the experience is.
- The only plus point of this policy is that it will not be forced upon the states. Like the Lok Sabha, we wanted to abstain in the Rajya Sabha... and if the Opposition's motion goes through tomorrow, they will get a political peg and the House will not function. Many important litigations will go on the back-burner.
- Considering all these factors, we will vote with the government in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha
- When you are 18 short of majority, you cannot run the government as you please. You cannot touch the 272 mark in Lok Sabha - you will need support and help.
- You are a lame duck govt and you are dependent on support, which is costly.
- Some people support you from the outside. They vote for you but are opposed to FDI.
- But even your own ally NCP doesn't want to implement it immediately in Maharashtra. It wants to discuss the matter in the alliance. As far as the DMK is concerned, they were part of the Bharat Bandh.
- When you say you speak on behalf of the people of India, it is a self-assumed authority.
- Those who abstain, and by that support you, do not want this in their states.
- I challenge Mr Sibal, who spoke for FDI, to get a store opened in his constituency. Elections are round the corner and he'll come to know what the people want.
- Because some western countries define reform or economic progress as such, should we accept this?
- The first area that will be adversely affected will be manufacturing sector jobs when international structured retail comes in.
- We'll cease to be a manufacturing nation, we will become a nation of traders. We will have stores by Americans, French and British selling Chinese goods and India will be a nation of sales boys and sales girls.
- In the month of September, WalMart decided to open its first store in Manhattan. There were protests and the proposal was taken back. There was only one reason - one WalMart will hit 50 small stores, and when that happens Mayor Michael Bloomberg knows he will not be in office.
- When small middlemen get out of the equation, the super-middleman comes in. These are the WalMarts and Tescos. A fragmented market is better than a consolidated market.
V Maitreyan of AIADMK
- Mr Prime Minister, on Dec 6, 2002 Mr Sanghvi wrote to you and you gave him an assurance. Ten years later, we demand that you withdraw FDI in multi-brand retail. Dr Manmohan Singh opposed FDI when he was in opposition; today he is the prime mover. UPA chairperson was also opposed to FDI in retail when UPA-I was in power.
- Govt wants us to believe that global retailers will buy from local suppliers. But that is a lie.
- We do not want to learn from someone else's mistake. WalMart is under probe, and India wants to bring the company here. What a shame!