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Sep 26, 2012 at 11:16am IST

Shiromani Akali Dal breaks ranks with NDA, backs FDI in retail

Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) finally has broken ranks with the NDA and it seems the party is slowly softening its stand towards towards FDI in retail. Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said that his party will back FDI if Centre addresses the concerns of traders.

Meanwhile, Punjab Mandi Board chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, too, said that FDI in retail will help farmers.

However, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad later clarified, "Sukhbir Singh Badal's statement is being projected wrongly. He has clarified that FDI in retail is not in favour of the farmers."

Badal had earlier slammed the UPA government saying, "The Congress party is jittery as it knows that its days in power are numbered and they know that people have made up their mind to kick them out of power. It is behaving like a lamp that burns brightly before getting blown out in dark."

He also criticised the UPA government for allegedly ignoring the claim of Rs 5,112 crore drought relief for Punjab farmers. "Even the final figures of this year's monsoon rains released by meteorological department pointed out that Punjab was the worst sufferer of the drought and delayed rains and rain deficiency in Punjab was 42 per cent, maximum in the country," he said.

"Denying drought relief to a state that had maximum rain deficiency reflected anti-Punjab and discriminatory attitude of Congress-led UPA government," Badal alleged.