New Delhi: The government's firm stand on bringing in FDI in multi-brand retail is a "signal to make India the most favoured destination for foreign multinationals", said Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta, slamming the move.
Dasgupta, during the parliamentary debate on the subject, accused the government of "being ready to sacrifice the country for the cause of Wal-Mart". He caused a minor commotion in the Lok Sabha when he said the United Progressive Alliance government had used its "political clout and resources" to ensure it wins the vote on the debate.
Shouted down by the ruling benches, Dasgupta said he "never meant money", but the "organisational management of the political establishment is enough to organise majority in house. That is all I meant".
He added the CPI was "not running away from voting, but we want the country to know where the party stands". The vote on the debate on FDI is to be held on Wednesday evening. If the UPA loses the vote it will not topple the government but will cause embarrassment.
He wondered why the government had taken such a firm stand on FDI in retail, after its "faltering, hesitation earlier, now it is firm, so firm that the prime minister is even ready to sacrifice the government itself". Dasgupta said FDI in multi-brand retail "with its political economic clout, with its huge international resources, backed by the US administration, is sure to have political and economic impact on the country".
He said Communications Minister Kapil Sibal in his defence on Tuesday of the economic move had said 'look at the state of the economics' and had then changed his tack after he got a look from Finance Minister P Chidambaram. "That is the reason... the government believes the economic conditions are very grim," he said and alleged that the UPA had not come clear in parliament on its strategy on ways to tackle the economic crisis.
Dasgupta said FDI in multi-brand retail will be a "giant company, which will manipulate market and price".