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Sep 20, 2012 at 02:47pm IST

Congress has many friends, Bharat bandh affecting economy: P Chidambaram

New Delhi: On a day when the entire Opposition along with some parties close to the Congress was busy enforcing the Bharat bandh, the United Progressive Government sent a strong message, saying it has many friends while ruling out putting on hold foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail. Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday claimed that there was no threat to the UPA Government despite Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress deciding to pull out.

"We have enough friends and we will continue working for the greater good of the economy. When protesting against an issue regarding economic policy, protest should not be in away that it affects the economy. In a democracy you have right to protest but it is ironic that the way you are protesting is bad for the economy," said Chidambaram in New Delhi.

Law and Justice & Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that the UPA had undertaken the reforms in the interest of the country. "What we have to look at right now is what is good for the larger country. We are convinced that these reforms are not for a few rich. This is the reform for the aam aadmi. You are working, so where is the bandh? We are also working. We have enough support from parties within and outside the coalition," said Khurshid.

Cong has many friends, bandh hurting economy: PC

Meanwhile, Salman Khurshid said that the UPA had undertaken the reforms in the interest of the country.

Sandeep Dikshit, Congress MP from East Delhi, said that the Opposition was forcefully enforcing the bandh. "Forceful shutdown of shops is a bit unfair. They want to show people that the common man supports them but it's only a show-off," said Dikshit.

Congress leader Jagdambika Pal, too, accused Opposition-ruled state governments of sponsoring the bandh. "It has become fashionable to go on a bandh. The BJP and the Left did the same thing in May and that bandh caused so much violence and destruction. The bandh is being sponsored by the state governments," he said.

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