Kolkata/New Delhi: Government's decision on FDI in retail and diesel price hike on Friday evoked strong reaction from allies and opposition with key UPA constituent Trinamool Congress setting a 72-hour deadline for their withdrawal before which it would take a "tough decision".

UPA's outside supporters Samajwadi Party and JD(S) also opposed the decisions on FDI in retail and said they would protest against these steps.

Trinamool Congress will hold a meeting on next Tuesday to discuss the Centre's decision to allow 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail and hike of Rs 5 in diesel price.

"We are giving a 72-hour deadline to roll back the decisions. We will discuss and take a tough stand at the TMC Parliamentary Party meeting on Tuesday if the government does not listen to us," TMC General Secretary and Railway Minister Mukul Roy said.

He said Trinamool Congress was strongly opposed to allowing FDI in key sectors like retail, insurance and aviation as it would be harmful for the people of the country.

Roy, who did not attend the Cabinet meeting as he was in Kolkata, said, "We are not in favour of FDI in retail. We are not in favour of FDI in aviation also. We are always in favour of the common people."

His party colleague and MP Kunal Ghose said, "Trinamool Congress is strongly opposing the cabinet decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail. We are not in agreement with the decision.

He said TMC registers its "strong protest" but the Centre "is taking anti-people policies."

SP spokesman Rajendra Chowdhury said in Lucknow that his party "feels that allowing FDI in retail would affect Indian market and agriculture. The move would adversely affect Indian economy as retailers and farmers would be ruined by it. The decision in not in the interest of country." UPA's outside supporter JD(S) also was angry at the government's decision on multi-brand retail, terming it as "anti-people" and threatening to withdraw its outside support for the central government.

Senior JD(S) leader Danish Ali said the National Executive of the party, which has three MPs in Lok Sabha, will meet soon to "review" the support given to the UPA government from outside.

BJP attacked the government, saying the "hurried" decision had been taken under foreign pressure and it will affect the livelihood of five crore Indians involved in retail trade.

"Inspite of serious opposition from within the Congress, its allies and nearly the entire Opposition led by the BJP, the government has seriously jeopardised the life, livelihood and employment of five crore people involved in retail trade in the country," party's chief spokesman Ravi Shanker Prasad said.

He alleged that this has been done under the pressure of "foreign elements" and would not bring any concrete return benefits to India.

He said though the government had assured in both Houses of Parliament that a decision on this issue will be taken only after wide consultations and after all stakeholders on board.

"So this hurried decision is almost a breach of privilege as well," Prasad said.

BJP, however, was evasive on the government decision allowing FDI in civil aviation.

Coming out with angry reactions, Left parties vowed a "wave of protests" against the government accusing it of having become a "burden on the people".

(Agencies)

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Samajwadi Party, major outside supporter of the UPA government, also opposed the decisions on FDI in retail and said it will protest against these.

 

"SP feels that allowing FDI in retail would affect Indian market and agriculture. The move would adversely affect Indian economy as retailers and farmers would be ruined by it. The decision in not in the interest of country", party spokesman Rajendra Chowdhury said.

 

BJP Chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said his party "strongly condemns this hurried decision forcing FDI in multi-brand retail in India.

 

"Inspite of serious opposition from within the Congress, its allies and nearly the entire Opposition led by the BJP, the government has seriously jeopardised the life, livelihood and employment of five crore people involved in retail trade in the country."

 

He alleged that this has been done under the pressure of "foreign elements" and would not bring any concrete return benefits to India.

 

He said though the government had assured in both Houses of Parliament that a decision on this issue will be taken only after wide consultations and after all stakeholders on board.

 

"So this hurried decision is almost a breach of privilege as well," Prasad said.

 

BJP, however, was evasive on the government decision allowing FDI in civil aviation.

 

Coming out with angry reactions, Left parties vowed a "wave of protests" against the government accusing it of having become a "burden on the people".