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FDI in retail: Is UPA II coalition in danger of split?

Kolkata/New Delhi, Sep 15 (ANI): In light of the recent announcement of the government to introduce Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail sector, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA-II) Government is facing a backlash from its allies.

Leading the charge of opposition is the UPA’s top ally, Trinamool Congress (TMC) which threatened to pull the plug of coalition from the government if this policy was not taken back.

Speaking to media in Kolkata, TMC lawmaker Kunal Ghosh said that the party would meet on Tuesday (September 18) under the aegis of chief Mamata Banerjee to chalk out a route map.

“We can’t support this, we don’t support this, we will oppose it strongly and Trinamool Parliamentary will meet on Tuesday under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee to discuss the next course of action and we make it clear that this government, the UPA-II government, is not a private property of Congress party,” said Ghosh.

UPA’s outside supporter Janata Dal-Secular also was angry at the government’s decision on multi-brand retail, terming it as “anti-people” and threatening to withdraw its outside support for the central government.

Senior JD-S leader Danish Ali said the national executive of the party, which has three MPs in Lok Sabha, will meet soon to “review” the support given to the UPA government from outside.

“Janata Dal (Secular) opposes the hike in price of diesel and FDI in retail and in the next three days we will be organizing a big protest and demonstration in collaboration with the left parties and like-minded parties in New Delhi and other parts of the country. We

would also soon organize its party meeting to ponder on the outside support given to the UPA-II in the Parliament,” he added.

The Union Cabinet on Friday decided to operationalise 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail, but left it to the state governments to allow setting up of such stores.

The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting headed by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh here on Friday evening.

The government also approved 49 percent FDI in the civil aviation sector, which would provide oxygen to the ailing carriers like Kingfisher Airlines.

In November last year, the government had approved 51 percent FDI in multi-brand. This was, however, put on hold due to political opposition, including Trinamool Congress. (ANI)