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BJP slams BSP, SP for 'U-turn' on FDI

New Delhi: BJP on Friday lambasted BSP and SP for making a "U-turn" on their stand on FDI in multi-brand retail and alleged that they had colluded with the government to ensure its victory in Rajya Sabha.

"They (SP and BSP) need to explain this to the people. We are not going to let them get away. We will take this issue to the people. We will go to Uttar Pradesh where the two major political parties had colluded and helped the government at the last moment and by making lame excuses," BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters outside Parliament House.

He was replying to questions on the government getting a majority vote in Parliament on the FDI in retail issue and the motion against it in Rajya Sabha being defeated as BSP voted in favour and SP walked out before the crucial division.

"(These) parties had taken a stand, supported a 'Bharat Bandh', (their members) give speeches in Parliament against FDI and suddenly they made a U-turn. They need to explain to the people and we are not going to let them get away," Naidu said.

Alleging that the government's win is a result of manipulation, he said, "If you go by the speeches made in the House by different parties, an overwhelming majority of the members of Rajya Sabha have voted against FDI in retail.

"They may have got the numbers today, but I am confident they will be taught a fitting lesson when they go to the people. The government could not give any convincing answer to any major questions raised by us," he said.

The win, he said, was not going to cut any ice among the people as they are watching the proceedings and are wise enough to "understand their gameplan."

Naidu said BJP wanted to expose the parties and show where they stood in the debate and how they changed their stance during voting.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the government claim that it has support of the people on the FDI issue is wrong as an overwhelming number of MPs and political parties in both Houses of Parliament are opposed to the decision.

"On the streets and in Parliament, there is opposition to FDI in retail. But when it comes to voting in the House, the instruments of the government and its habit of having its way by hook or by crook are at work. It wants to stay in power through any means," he said.

He said that whenever voting has taken place on any issue in this Lok Sabha, the government has never crossed the half-way mark of 272.

"From our purpose, what a party says and how it votes have been exposed," he said, referring to the stand taken by SP and BSP during the debate and the 'volte-face' by them during voting.

The BJP leader also claimed the debate has also made it clear that this policy is anti-people and cannot be called a reform. "Our campaign against FDI in retail will continue," he said.

"People will come to know how the numbers were managed, what all was offered to whom and how the Prime Minister called up some leaders to solicit support," he said.

Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien maintained that his party has stood by its principles and ideology and has opposed the FDI decision.

"Since its inception, TMC has always been firm on its principles. We decided to oppose the FDI policy as it is against the people," O'Brien said.

(Agencies)

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