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Left Front calls for shutdown on Sep. 20 to oppose FDI in retail

Kolkata, Sep 16 (ANI): Taking potshots at the Congress-led UPA Government over its decision to approve Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail and hike the prices of diesel, the Left Front has called for a shutdown on September 20 to protest the Centre’s move.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Prakash Karat today said eight parties have together called for a countrywide protest on 20th of September.

“The country will be shut. Other parties have also called for a strike. But as far as we are concerned, on the FDI in retail the battle will not be over on 20th September,” said Karat.

“Now, the government takes the ridiculous position. They are leaving it to the states (on FDI),” he added.

Karat also challenged the Congress-led UPA Government to show the CPI (M) at least two or three more parties, which have changed their mind since November on FDI in multi-brand retail.

“The entire opposition is opposed to it. All the regional parties have come out against this. Many of them, who are running state governments, have said that we won’t have foreign retail shops in our states; whether it is chief minister Jayalalithaa, whether it is Akhilesh of Uttar Pradesh, whether it is Nitish Kumar (of Bihar),” said Karat.

“Earlier the DMK, which is in the UPA, came out against it. Their own allies, the Trinamool Congress and the DMK, last time also they opposed it. So, what has changed since November?” he asked.

Karat further alleged that the government is making a false claim that oil companies are facing losses.

” Bharat petroleum, Hindustan petroleum are making profits and not losses. So, there is no reason for increase in the prices of oil. This will increase inflation and prices of all commodities,” he said.

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee took to the streets in Kolkata yesterday warning that the TMC would take ‘hard’ decisions at the end of her 72-hour deadline set by her party if the UPA Government did not scrap FDI in retail, diesel price hike and limit on subsidised LPG.

“We have called a party meeting on Tuesday to discuss these issues. If the Centre does not roll back the hike in diesel price and withdraw decisions on FDI in multi-brand retail and curbs on LPG, we will take decisions, however hard they may be. I hope the people will not misunderstand,” she told a rally. (ANI)