FDI battle: Mulayam to take final call on Mamata's invite, says Akhilesh
Taking potshots at the Congress-led UPA Government over the move to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday said his father and Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav would take a final call on Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee's invite.
"The government says FDI in retail will help farmers. Is that why everyone is opposing it?" he said, while giving indications that the Samajwadi Party too was not in tune with the UPA's FDI move.
Mamata Banerjee had earlier on Monday accused the UPA Government of crossing all limits of patience with the move to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, and threatened to bring a no confidence motion if supported by the Samajwadi Party.
The Trinamool Congress chief said she would invite Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to join her rally against FDI in Lucknow.
Banerjee, who began her new political innings as an opposition leader with the demonstration at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, termed the UPA Government's reform policy as against the interests of farmers and those running small shops and businesses.
"I will go everywhere in India to protect the Indian business, the farmers, the labourers and the people of India. Everything has a laxman rekha (limit), and when it is crossed, I must work for the 'aam aadmi' (common man)," Banerjee said, while emphasizing that her fight was for the welfare of the common man of the country.
"It is being asked why Mamata has come to Delhi? Why, is Delhi not part of India? Congress ko itna gussa kyun aata hai (why is the Congress so angry)?" she asked.
The West Bengal Chief Minister also accused the ruling alliance of using the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to target all those raising their voice against the anti-government policies.
"This is a government for itself, of itself, with itself... The CBI is being misused against those who raise their voice. But we are not scared, we will go to jail, we will give up our lives," she said amid an applause from the crowd gathered here.
Lashing out at the Centre, Banerjee said the government forced FDI in retail, increased the price of diesel and capped LPG cylinders, but didn't have the 'confidence to take a confidence vote'.
"Selling the country is not reform. If the country survives, the government survives," she said.
Banerjee also asked the crows gathered to be careful saying that she had information that there would be attempt to disrupt the rally.
Janata Dal (United) and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Convenor Sharad Yadav, who joined the Trinamool Congress leaders on the dais at the Jantar Mantar here, called Mamata Banerjee the 'real tigress of West Bengal'.
"The last time too (in December 2011), Mamataji had stopped FDI in retail, this time too she is leading the fight. She is the real tigress of Bengal. She is the one who is honest and honourable, has the courage to take risks. She is the only one in the country today who can do this," said Yadav.
There were over 5,000 people present at the Jantar Mantar here in support of Mamata Banerjee.
The TMC, the biggest partner of the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, had pulled out over big-ticket economic reforms, reducing coalition to a minority government and bringing even more instability to an already volatile political landscape.
The government took some decisions earlier, including the hike in diesel price, cap the supply of subsidised LPG cylinders to six per household and approving 51 percent Foreign Direct Investment or FDI in multi-brand retail.
Trinamool Congress, which has 19 members in the Lok Sabha, withdrew support to the Congress-led UPA Government and pulled out its six ministers from the government on September 21 after being disappointed with the announcement government's new reforms