As the Rajya Sabha debated on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail on Thursday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) said India is not ready for it.
"This country is not yet ready for FDI in multi-brand retail. We need not FDI but HDI (Human Development Index)," TMC leader MP Derek O´Brien said during the debate in the Upper House of the Parliament.
"When the government brushes aside HDI for FDI, it breaches a fundamental contract with the people," he said.
Criticising the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Derek said: "Before FDI there needs to be infrastructure. The UPA is like a property developer who is decorating a drawing room, without constructing the building."
He said the party is against a policy that ´looks at India only as a market´.
The relationship between TMC and the UPA touched its lowest point when it withdrew support to the latter over its recent economic reforms, including FDI in multi-brand retail, hike in diesel price and cap on subsidy in LPG cylinders.
TMC with 19 MPs was UPA´s second biggest constituent and the biggest ally of the Congress party which spearheads the government.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party (SP) said it will walk out of the Rajya Sabha during the voting on the FDI in multi-brand retail issue.
"We will not vote with the government," Samajwadi Party MP Ram Gopal Yadav was quoted as saying.
Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati earlier in the day said her party will vote in favour of the UPA government on the issue in the Upper House.
"Keeping in mind all the plus points, our party has decided to vote in favour of the government," Mayawati said during the debate.