New Delhi: Voices of opposition to FDI in retail from within the UPA gained momentum on Tuesday with a Congress MP from poll-bound Uttar Pradesh criticising the decision, saying it will hurt the poor and its timing was not right.

 Sanjay Singh appeared to target Commerce Minister Anand Sharma over the decision as he said that members from Rajya Sabha "do not feel the pain of the people".

The Congress MP from Sultanpur said he will be writing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard seeking the withdrawal of the decision.

"If at all the decision cannot be withdrawn, it should be modified to ensure that the poor vendors are not rendered unemployed. The multinational giants, who are coming to invest huge money should spend some money to protect the interests of the small shopkeepers and vendors," Singh said.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has already opposed the move with PCC Chief Ramesh Chennithala writing to the Prime Minister opposing the nod to FDI in retail.

 Questioning "what is the need for such a decision", the MP said that Congress has been standing with the poor and the weaker sections the last man in the society.

"I don't think it is right time to take such a decision. It will finish off lakhs and crores of vendors and small shop-keepers...my submission to the Prime Minister is simple that this angle should have been taken into consideration.

"The majority of MPs in Lok Sabha yesterday felt it not correct. If a decision like this was being taken, the MPs should have been taken into confidence," Singh said.

In a veiled attack on the Commerce Minister, who is a Rajya Sabha member, he said, "MPs from Lok Sabha view issues differently from those of Rajya Sabha. People come in Rajya Sabha directly and as such they do not feel the pain of people the way Lok Sabha members, being in direct touch with voters, feel.
Singh felt that Lok Sabha members understand "ground realities" better than those from Rajya Sabha.

Sources said question marks were raised over the timing of the decision in the Cabinet meeting on Thursday as well.

While the UPA allies DMK and Trinamool Congress have expressed their opposition to the move, even some ministers from Congress had questioned the timing of the decision.

Congress leaders in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh are concerned with the move fearing a backlash from the traders' community.

Traders had staged a protest outside the residence of Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal in Kanpur on Sunday against the decision to allow 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail.

(Agencies)