The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday termed the Ramlila Ground rally of the Congress party as a 'flop show'.
Senior BJP leader, Balbir Punj said: "It was a government sponsored rally and if the people in support of FDI then you would have people coming together and holding rallies' on their own other than the government having to sponsor that. I am told it was largely a flop show and the crowd was there but obviously they were hired and you didn't find that life in the crowd, there was no enthusiasm in the crowd," said Punj.
BJP leader, Arun Jaitley added that FDI would reduce domestic manufacturing adding that it has been shunned globally too.
"FDI will reduce manufacturing jobs in India because foreign retailers source internationally and not so much domestically. FDI will displace retail jobs and the benefit of middlemen elimination goes to the retailer not to the farmer. That is the experiment of the east, if that was not so then farmers in Europe and United States need to be subsidized so heavily by the government. Now these rationalities are all ignored andthis rally is just being organised to advocate and further pursue whatever has been the anti-people policies," said Jaitley.
BJP leader, Venkaiah Naidu questioned the Congress Party over its support for FDI, a policy it denounced when in opposition.
"I want to ask the Congress Party a direct question. They are now in the favour of (Foreign Direct Investment) FDI but they opposed it when they were in the opposition. What triggered the sudden change? They need to give the citizens an answer in regards to their changing policies and attitude," said Naidu.
General Secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), Prakash Karat said that the Congress and opposition parties should debate FDI in the parliament.
"The issue of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail will be discussed in the winter session of the parliament. FDI will be the key issue. We challenge the federal government that if it thinks that FDI is necessary it should be able to prove it. The entire opposition will debate the issue in parliament. FDI approval or disapproval will be decided in the parliament now," said Karat.
Battered with a series of controversies, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ruling Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi launched a mega rally in New Delhi =to counter the resentment over opening of retail sector to foreign supermarkets, which has triggered widespread disputes, worries and political disruptions.
After months of dithering debate on the economy, India's beleaguered government earlier in September allowed foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, opening up its supermarket sector to foreign chains.
However, the decision did not go down well with Indian traders and resulted in nationwide protests and created fissures even among the ruling coalition.
In an attempt to bridge the gaps, Congress has come up with its counter-offensive.
The move allows global firms such as Wal-Mart Stores to set up shop with a local partner and sell directly to consumers for the first time, which supporters say could transform India's $450 billion retail market and tame inflation. (ANI)