Wal-Mart issue: Tewari defends Congress, BJP demands probe

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 10, 2012 15:23 hrs

New Delhi: Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Monday came out in full defence of the ruling Congress Party following Wal-Mart's disclosure on lobbying for FDI in India, and said that that the allegations were being levelled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to tarnish the UPA Government's image.

"If the Bharatiya Janata Party thinks it has some more information on the issue, why doesn't it come out in the open and tell it to everyone. The BJP has always indulged in mud slinging and wrongly alleging the Congress Party of wrongdoings," Tewari told mediapersons in Ahmedabad.

BJP leader Prakash Javadekar commenting on the issue said that lobbying was prohibited in India, and added that it was imperative to probe the charges.

"Have they spent it only in US or have they used it in India also is a matter of inquiry and this is a very serious charge and people have raised it during the debate that the whole entry of Walmart is akin to their Bofors kickback. So, what it is must be probed fully and then only the truth will emerge," said Javadekar.

Meanwhile, publicist and image consultant, Dilip Cherian, said it is important to understand the context of the magnitude of the figures that have emerged before deriving conclusions.

"This is something the countries need to do. They need to do it because the kind of situation India today finds itself in. In Male vis-a-vis the GMR investment is also the result of in a sense, inappropriate and inadequate lobbying by the Indian companies in male, so I think one looks at all these issue, there is a certain context in which this figure need to be understood," he said.

In India, a new controversy has erupted over the decision to open up the vast retail sector to foreign supermarkets.

In the US, Wal-Mart has disclosed that it spent 25 million dollars or 125 crores in the last four years on lobbying for various projects including "enhanced market access for investment in India."

The Congress-led UPA Government won a vote in both houses of Parliament last week on its decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment or FDI in multi-brand retail.

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