Terming the Congress Party's mega rally at the Ramlila Ground here as an anti-people event, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said the rally was organized only to rationalize and promote the anti-people policies of the UPA Government.
Senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley said: "Coming at this juncture, if one assesses the kind of speeches the Congress leaders have made today, it is an ant-people rally."
"They rationalized hiking diesel and LPG prices and whatever policies of this government have dealt a crushing blow to the people," added Jaitley.
Blaming the Congress for bypassing all major issues like corruption and inflation, Jaitley said: "As far as FDI in retail is concerned, it will reduce manufacturing jobs in India and displace retail jobs. The benefit of the middleman elimination will go to the retailers, not to the farmers."
Senior BJP leader Balbir Punj said: "This is not a Congress rally, this basically a government-sponsored rally, where the resources of the state are also being misused to make this rally a success."
He further said: "Beside the point, the very fact that the government and the Congress party have to pool resources in order to organise a rally in support of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in retail, means that it has no public support."
Another BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said: "This rally of the Congress Party is not going to benefit India. Instead, it will benefit the United States. This rally is in favour of Wal-Mart and the policies of the American Government. This rally is supporting a decision which will render 200 million people jobless."
In Kanpur, senior Samajwadi Party leader Ram Asrey Kuswaha said: "If the retail markets are opened for FDI, it will render so many people jobless, including the local vendors, vegetable sellers and milkmen. It is seen that so many vendors run their business from roadside, and, they will be completely removed. Therefore, no matter how many pamphlets Congress distributes in its rally, no one will support this move."
Another Samajwadi Party leader Mohan Singh said: "This is not a rally in support of FDI in retail, but it is a show of strength by the Congress. However, Congress has been attacked so many times and is facing numerous corruption charges and it is very difficult to justify their stand. FDI is not the main issue in the rally, the main issue is the charges of corruption levelled against the Congress leaders who hold prominent position in the government."
In Nandiad, Gujarat, yoga guru Baba Ramdev said: Today, the Congress Party is not with common man, farmers, or retail traders, but it is with foreign companies. The Congress party has become an agent of several American companies, including Wal-Mart."
Earlier today, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh defended the recent fuel price hike, stating that his government was compelled to do so to tackle the fiscal deficit.
Targeting the opposition Singh said that some people are trying to spread misinformation about certain policy decisions taken by the government.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday challenged the corruption charges levelled against the UPA government, saying the truth and untruth in these needs to be understood well.
"The opposition is levelling several allegations of corruption against the government. What is the truth and untruth in these allegations needs to be understood well," Ms. Sonia Gandhi said at the party's mega rally here in support of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"I admit, corruption is a cancer...is a disease," Ms. Gandhi said in the presence of the prime minister and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
"But we have fought this disease before and we will continue to fight this disease with all strength once again," an aggressive Ms. Sonia Gandhi said.
"We will fight all graft charges against us and none found guilty will be spared," she added.
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi: "We need economic reforms because only when businesses operate well will there be progress, and then we can run programmes to benefit the poor."
Gandhi vowed to help push through policy changes that will transform India's retail sector by allowing global supermarket chains such as Walmart and Tesco to open in India and tap into its burgeoning consumer market.
"The world is saying that India is standing up," he said, adding "the youth here will show not just India but also the whole world the way forward."
"We will get the (Lokpal) bill passed in Parliament soon. Wait and watch," Rahul Gandhi assured his party workers. (ANI)