Left parties to mobilize people against retail reform: Karat

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 02, 2012 06:32 hrs

Patna: Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) General Secretary Prakash Karat has said the left parties will hold conventions across the country to mobilize people against foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-retail sector.

"We will continue to oppose FDI policy in parliament. Along with it, we will hold conventions in every state and city to mobilise people against the policy," said Karat at a public rally here yesterday.

Karat further said the UPA government that has allowed FDI in multi retail under pressure of the USA and multinationals is busy cobbling up numbers by luring parties opposed to FDI to win the vote on the issue.

"Even if UPA manages to win the vote, the Left Parties would demand another vote in Parliament on amendment of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regulations to allow implementation of FDI as suggested by the Supreme Court," he added.

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader A. B Bardhan, however, said that government had cut shady deals with parties, including misuse of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to win the vote against FDI in retail.

"They are entering into deals. They are trying to convince some, mislead some, scare some and neutralise some. They are pressurising some to walk out so that they do not vote. They are misusing the CBI," he added.

The government agreed for debate and vote in the parliament next week on its decision to let foreign supermarkets set up shop in country in parliament after intense pressure by the opposition parties.

The government will have to rely on Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (SP) and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to win a vote in the Rajya Sabha. The two outfits are not part of the ruling coalition, but provide external support.

The government needs the support of Samajwadi Party's 9 and Bahujan Samaj Party 's 15 MPs to win a vote in the Rajya Sabha.

The Rajya Sabha has an effective strength of 244, even the abstention of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party will bring the halfway mark down to 110, leaving the UPA Government well short at 95 MPs. 

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