Amritsar: Radical Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa on Tuesday slammed the ruling Akali government for opposing the FDI in retail, saying Akalis have done a flip-flop on the issue as they were in favour of foreign investment in the sector.

Dal Khalsa accused the ruling Punjab government of "hypocrisy" by first demanding FDI in retail and later opposing it, "despite the fact that the Centre has given choice to the states to take their own stand."

The president of the organisation slammed Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal "for ignoring the interests of farmers and consumers in the state to please the Bharatiya Janata Party's perceived vote bank of middlemen."

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had earlier welcomed, though for different reasons, the FDI in retail, said party head H S Dhami.

Describing the FDI in retail as favourable for people's welfare, Dhami said Badal had "all along claimed to articulate the concerns of the farmers but on this case, his stand was against to his self-projected image."

He appealed Badals to do a rethink on their flip-flop on FDI.

He said for farmers, FDI signifies a bigger opportunity, better prices for their produce and freedom from the archaic ways of their local mandis (market).

The consumer would benefit as this system would eliminate middlemen who were exploiting both the producers as well as the consumers, he said.

He was of the opinion that farmers and consumers have for long been fleeced by small traders, hoarders and middlemen.

"The argument that FDI in multi-brand retail would eliminate small traders is misleading."

The organised retail would eliminate the middleman by dealing directly with farmers and buying in bulk.

"So both producers and consumers will be benefited."

Pointing out ideological inconsistency in the BJP on economic matters, Dhami took a dig at saffron party for resorting to fear-mongering to please a section of its vote bank.

Referring to arguments for and against FDI in retail sector, he said there were huge business lobbies at work and there were vested interests that would get affected.


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