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Retail revolt reaches Mumbai, traders up in arms


Vivin Mathew,CNN-IBN
Oct 10, 2007 at 11:36pm IST

Mumbai: There’s growing protest against organised retail. Today it was traders in Mumbai's Azad Maidan who demanded that organised retail be banned.

Mahaveer Jain's family has been trading for the last five generations in Nagpur. Today he's in Mumbai and he wants one thing:

"These malls and big retailers will destroy us and the economy of the country."

He's not the only one that wants organised retail in the country banned.

Over 4,000 traders from across the country converged on Mumbai's Azad Maidan to voice their fears.

And with elections around the corner they've got a message for the politicians.

"We are a large votebank and they better look at our welfare," says head of traders union Mohan Gurnani.

And in what could be an election year, some politicians now have a popular cause.

BJP former MP Shyam Behari says, “Its a shame that Mr Ambani has stooped selling potatoes and onions."

It’s this political pliability that the traders are hoping will work in their favour.

There were expected to be atleast one lakh traders in Mumbai's Azad Maidan but the 4,000 odd who are here know one thing that with them being a 5 crore odd vote bank and with elections around the corner their voices of protest will not be taken lightly by the political parties.

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