Chennai: Unfazed by key ally DMK's opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail, Congress on Saturday expressed confidence that it will be able to bring on board its southern ally on UPA's big ticket reforms. Senior Congress leader and Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy also expressed satisfaction over UPA's strength in Parliament with BSP and SP extending outside support.
His comments came in the wake of DMK's stiff opposition to 51 per cent FDI cap in multi-brand retail, with the M Karunanidhi-led party even participating in nationwide protests called by Left parties against the Centre's decision. Explaining the salient features of the cabinet decision to approve FDI, he told reporters that it would result in job creation for about two crore Indians in coming years, bring along cold storage facilities, ensure better prices for farmers' produce and competitive rates for consumers. "We will reach out to DMK and convince them. We are confident of doing that," he said. Such issues are common in a coalition government and alliance party leaders are consulted, he said.
He refrained from commenting on the vacancy in the cabinet after resignation of DMK members A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran, both in connection with Telecom scam, saying that the Prime Minister is the ultimate authority in this matter. He pleaded ignorance when asked if Karunanidhi had conveyed any message in this regard to the Congress top bras. Strongly batting for the decision to open up the Indian market to FDI, he said it was done with the intention of attracting more foreign investment to realise better growth rate.
To questions on Arvind Kejriwal s corruption charges against Law Minister Salman Khurshid and son-in-law of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi Robert Vadra, he charged the activist with making "wild allegations" for gaining popularity. He said Kejriwal's charges deserve to be "brushed aside" as they are not backed by any proof. He said government cannot act suo motu on such issues and agencies would be asked to probe them only if there was a written complaint and challenged Kejriwal to do so.
"Let's not jump to any conclusion. They (the Khurshids) have filed a defamation against them (a media house) in court," he said. He accused the IAC activist of furnishing 'bogus' accounts of money collected during social activist Anna Hazare's fast in Delhi and charged Kejriwal and his team with trying to use Hazare's movement for their own popularity.